County news January 12, 2012

Somerset sign Chris Gayle

  shares 29

Somerset have signed former West Indies captain Chris Gayle for this year's Friends Life t20 campaign.

Gayle had been in talks with Middlesex but the county decided to pursue their interest in an overseas fast bowler instead.

Gayle, 32, has an exceptional T20 record. Not only has he made the highest score in international T20 cricket, 117 against South Africa in September 2007, but he is also the only man to have made five T20 centuries. He also shares the record for the quickest international T20 hundred with Brendon McCullum. Both men reached the landmark in just 50 balls.

Gayle will replace Kieron Pollard as one of Somerset's overseas players. Pollard is expected to be on international duty on West Indies tour of England but Gayle, having fallen out with the West Indies board, is unlikely to be selected. He will strengthen an already daunting Somerset batting line-up that also includes Craig Kieswetter, Marcus Trescothick, Peter Trego, Roelof van der Merwe and James Hildreth.

Gayle will hope to take Somerset one better in the Flt20. They have been losing finalists in the last three seasons.

"I am delighted to be heading to Somerset this summer," said Gayle. "They are a great club and hopefully I can make a key contribution to their T20 campaign this year."

Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose added: "Chris is a tremendously exciting player and one of the people who would get into any World T20 XI.

"He is a tremendous all-rounder; his batting is outstanding, he bowls and can open the attack with his off-spinners and he is also a brilliant fielder, so we are absolutely delighted."

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jh22 on January 13, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    Might consider going to Edgebaston to watch him in action. Hopefully he will hit a few onto Pershore Road.

  • hhillbumper on January 13, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    Spence 1234 As Somerset have produced Butler and Gregory and Waller recently I don't think we can accuse them of not promoting young English talent. Besides its only 20 20 and we all now thats not real cricket so why not have someone who can slog the hell out of it.Can you imagine facing Tresco and Gayle.it will be an education for some young bowlers

  • on January 13, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    Gayle should try to rebuild his carrier in england national team as KP did

  • bumsonseats on January 13, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    he plays for somerset. they win the t20 and somerset might be 3rd/4th for his services in the CL. makes sense to me, i dont think.dpk

  • Avi56 on January 13, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    County Cricket Grounds are a little smaller than that of an international cricket grounds.... i wonder how many new balls are required during the match...

  • on January 13, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    Its just too bad that most people feel bad about Chirst Gale`s hard talk but I find its natural that one gives his opinion on anything.

  • ncurd on January 13, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    Young English player player? This being the same Somerset that operates a youth policy and has Kieswetter, Gregory, Dibble, Waller, Dockrell, Merchede and Buttler. Okay some aren't English born but they will qualify if they are good enough. They also have been known to bring in top-class international player so the younger player can learn.

    As for Gayle there has to be some attraction to playing for the same county as greatest one day player that's lived. And we all know how much Gayle like his ego stroked. Still he's the best T20 player in the world and why wouldn't you want him?

    The CLT20 is a joke currently and nothing more than a payday once you change the qualification rules and make the amount of internationals equal across all teams people may respond. Currently it's a boys only club for SA, Aus and India. |Somerset also loose their Captain for the tournament so while they may play extremely well I don't think they belive they will win it as the odds are just stacked.

  • Optic on January 13, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    @spence1324 Don't agree at all, the Counties need big names like him to bring spectators in, that in turn brings the money in, which in turn helps to entice and sign the best young talent around. Clubs like Somerset base nearly their all year around there T20 season, money wise. Also Somerset has had plenty of young English players coming through at the same time as overseas players, so I can't see the problem and if they're good enough the management at Somerset will give them ago, much like they did with Buttler and then Gregory. A young player can learn a thing a two from a player like Gayle, so what's the issue, especially in this day and age of clubs getting extra money from the ECB for playing young English guys.

  • on January 12, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    How is Gayle taking the place of an English youngster? He's replacing Pollard, who plays for the Windies.

  • Metman on January 12, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    Wonder if he has some harsh words lined up for the capt.,coach and management of Somerset if he doesn't get his way? Any bet he would be as quiet as a church mouse on a Good Friday morning.

  • jh22 on January 13, 2012, 22:24 GMT

    Might consider going to Edgebaston to watch him in action. Hopefully he will hit a few onto Pershore Road.

  • hhillbumper on January 13, 2012, 20:42 GMT

    Spence 1234 As Somerset have produced Butler and Gregory and Waller recently I don't think we can accuse them of not promoting young English talent. Besides its only 20 20 and we all now thats not real cricket so why not have someone who can slog the hell out of it.Can you imagine facing Tresco and Gayle.it will be an education for some young bowlers

  • on January 13, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    Gayle should try to rebuild his carrier in england national team as KP did

  • bumsonseats on January 13, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    he plays for somerset. they win the t20 and somerset might be 3rd/4th for his services in the CL. makes sense to me, i dont think.dpk

  • Avi56 on January 13, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    County Cricket Grounds are a little smaller than that of an international cricket grounds.... i wonder how many new balls are required during the match...

  • on January 13, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    Its just too bad that most people feel bad about Chirst Gale`s hard talk but I find its natural that one gives his opinion on anything.

  • ncurd on January 13, 2012, 9:43 GMT

    Young English player player? This being the same Somerset that operates a youth policy and has Kieswetter, Gregory, Dibble, Waller, Dockrell, Merchede and Buttler. Okay some aren't English born but they will qualify if they are good enough. They also have been known to bring in top-class international player so the younger player can learn.

    As for Gayle there has to be some attraction to playing for the same county as greatest one day player that's lived. And we all know how much Gayle like his ego stroked. Still he's the best T20 player in the world and why wouldn't you want him?

    The CLT20 is a joke currently and nothing more than a payday once you change the qualification rules and make the amount of internationals equal across all teams people may respond. Currently it's a boys only club for SA, Aus and India. |Somerset also loose their Captain for the tournament so while they may play extremely well I don't think they belive they will win it as the odds are just stacked.

  • Optic on January 13, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    @spence1324 Don't agree at all, the Counties need big names like him to bring spectators in, that in turn brings the money in, which in turn helps to entice and sign the best young talent around. Clubs like Somerset base nearly their all year around there T20 season, money wise. Also Somerset has had plenty of young English players coming through at the same time as overseas players, so I can't see the problem and if they're good enough the management at Somerset will give them ago, much like they did with Buttler and then Gregory. A young player can learn a thing a two from a player like Gayle, so what's the issue, especially in this day and age of clubs getting extra money from the ECB for playing young English guys.

  • on January 12, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    How is Gayle taking the place of an English youngster? He's replacing Pollard, who plays for the Windies.

  • Metman on January 12, 2012, 23:10 GMT

    Wonder if he has some harsh words lined up for the capt.,coach and management of Somerset if he doesn't get his way? Any bet he would be as quiet as a church mouse on a Good Friday morning.

  • JG2704 on January 12, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    Wow - I was thrilled that Somerset signed VDM and Philander (for a while for the CC) and Gayle has to be the premier opening batsman in this format. Tres and Gayle opening I'd say has to be thee most dangerous domestic T20 opening partnership anywhere in the world. I just hope that SS can now go and win something. They're certainly showing ambition.

  • NikhilNair on January 12, 2012, 22:59 GMT

    Good for Gayle... and Somerset. Bad for opposition bowlers lol. Good luck... GO ROCK 'EM GAYLE! :)

  • Juiceoftheapple on January 12, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    Hold on hold on. Pollard can't play due to an ODI series in England, but Kies opens the England ODI batting - It's a straight swap! Trego at 3, RVDM at 4, Buttler 5 (imo), Hildy 6, Compo 7 (imo), Thomas, 2 from Gregory/Waller/Kirby/Dibble/Dockrell

  • spence1324 on January 12, 2012, 22:04 GMT

    VERY bad news,he has just taken the place off a english youngster.

  • on January 12, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    As a Middlesex fan..... gutted. Can't imagine a signing that will match Gayle.

  • on January 12, 2012, 21:19 GMT

    Should help them do well in the English T20 - but why not sign someone who would be available for the Champions League as well?

  • TheSomersetNinja on January 12, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    I live about a 15 minute walk from the County Ground. I'm going to up the household insurance...For those of you who know Taunton I envisage the River End being a dangerous place to be - if you're on or across the other side of the river, that is. Can anyone predict a possible scoreline should Banger and Gayle decide to do a Richards/Botham JPL v Hampshire and try and feed off each other? Ouch.

  • Optic on January 12, 2012, 20:43 GMT

    Gale & Tres opening, awesome. Maybe they'll win something this year :)

  • on January 12, 2012, 20:28 GMT

    Gayle is exciting to watch... we miss him from international cricket

  • on January 12, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Well Gayle is ideal for Somersets flat track, he will get a lot of runs very quickly although it would be different on bowler friendly tracks as his lack of any foot movement or technique would find him out!

  • Baundele on January 12, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    Gayle wins almost 40% of the matches single-handedly, he contributes to another 20% of the wins. His team mates will have to manage the rest. Very frustrated with the BBL, where his team mates can not do even normal batting, when Gayle leaves in a comfortable winning position, they give it away. Somerset has madean excellent choice and feel sorry for Middlesex. What were they thinking?

  • on January 12, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Excited, very. Tres and Gayle at the top. Kiesweiter, Trego, VDM, Hildreth, Butler. I can not think of many other T20 batting line-ups that are so formidable... in the world! Somerset are going through the best era in their history (possibly second to Botham era, i'm not sure?). All we need to do is get that first bit of silver under our belts. Once we have one i truly think we will have a lovely purple patch. ziddder men!

  • Pilgrim1311 on January 12, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    Awesome!! I never felt Pollard would always deliver, whereas you get the impression that Gayle is both more explosive and more consistent than Pollard. Great signing, I think.

  • cabinet96 on January 12, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    Not needed to be totally honest.

  • SirViv1973 on January 12, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    Great news for Somerset he will certainly put some bums on seats down at Taunton. However Somerset's gain is International cricket's loss. I think it is so sad that Gayle and WICB have been unable to patch up their differences, this signing is further confirmation(if any was needed) that one of world cricket's most exciting batsman is now nothing more than a T20 mercenary. As well as IPL and BBL I believe he has also signed up to SAF Pro 20 tournament.

  • fernandotorres on January 12, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Trescothink - Gayle - Kiewsetter - Jos Butler - Trego WOW

    Chris "GALE" Title = EPIC FAIL!!

  • Munkeymomo on January 12, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    Best news ever. Love Chris Gayle, Polly was great for us and will be missed but Gayle is awesome. Hope Somerset can finally win something!

  • on January 12, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    Awesome.... Best batting line up in T20?

  • pranav on January 12, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Please change the spelling of "Gale".

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • pranav on January 12, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Please change the spelling of "Gale".

  • on January 12, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    Awesome.... Best batting line up in T20?

  • Munkeymomo on January 12, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    Best news ever. Love Chris Gayle, Polly was great for us and will be missed but Gayle is awesome. Hope Somerset can finally win something!

  • fernandotorres on January 12, 2012, 18:59 GMT

    Trescothink - Gayle - Kiewsetter - Jos Butler - Trego WOW

    Chris "GALE" Title = EPIC FAIL!!

  • SirViv1973 on January 12, 2012, 19:04 GMT

    Great news for Somerset he will certainly put some bums on seats down at Taunton. However Somerset's gain is International cricket's loss. I think it is so sad that Gayle and WICB have been unable to patch up their differences, this signing is further confirmation(if any was needed) that one of world cricket's most exciting batsman is now nothing more than a T20 mercenary. As well as IPL and BBL I believe he has also signed up to SAF Pro 20 tournament.

  • cabinet96 on January 12, 2012, 19:12 GMT

    Not needed to be totally honest.

  • Pilgrim1311 on January 12, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    Awesome!! I never felt Pollard would always deliver, whereas you get the impression that Gayle is both more explosive and more consistent than Pollard. Great signing, I think.

  • on January 12, 2012, 19:19 GMT

    Excited, very. Tres and Gayle at the top. Kiesweiter, Trego, VDM, Hildreth, Butler. I can not think of many other T20 batting line-ups that are so formidable... in the world! Somerset are going through the best era in their history (possibly second to Botham era, i'm not sure?). All we need to do is get that first bit of silver under our belts. Once we have one i truly think we will have a lovely purple patch. ziddder men!

  • Baundele on January 12, 2012, 20:09 GMT

    Gayle wins almost 40% of the matches single-handedly, he contributes to another 20% of the wins. His team mates will have to manage the rest. Very frustrated with the BBL, where his team mates can not do even normal batting, when Gayle leaves in a comfortable winning position, they give it away. Somerset has madean excellent choice and feel sorry for Middlesex. What were they thinking?

  • on January 12, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    Well Gayle is ideal for Somersets flat track, he will get a lot of runs very quickly although it would be different on bowler friendly tracks as his lack of any foot movement or technique would find him out!