Gayle injures groin in Bangladesh Premier League
Chris Gayle will not arrive in South Africa on Friday, as initially scheduled, to play in the domestic 20-over competition after sustaining a groin injury in the Bangladesh Premier League [BPL]. Gayle retired hurt after scoring 30 off 16 balls for Barisal Burners against Chittagong Kings in Dhaka and was found to have damaged a muscle in his groin.
"He [Gayle] is going to be assessed by their medical team and they will advise us accordingly," Jesse Chellan, chief executive of the Dolphins, said. The delay means Gayle will miss the start of Dolphins' T20 campaign. Their first match is against new franchise, Impi, on Sunday. It was reported that Gayle may need up to three weeks to recover from his injury and could miss nearly half of the T20 tournament, which ends on March 30.
Gayle was in explosive form in the BPL, with two centuries in four previous games. He is the second of Dolphins' two overseas signings to suffer injury in the lead up to the tournament. Australia fast bowler Shaun Tait had to withdraw from the event when he sustained an elbow injury and the Dolphins were unable to sign a replacement player in time for the competition.
South African franchises were allowed to contract two overseas players for the event in an attempt to bring the competition in line with other 20-over tournaments around the world. Gayle was the biggest draw of the competition after Shahid Afridi became unavailable due to national commitments and a decision was taken by the Lions side not to pursue the engagement with Abdul Razzaq as a result of his poor recent form.
Currently, there are six internationals in the country, including former England captain Paul Collingwood, who leads Impi. Sohail Tanvir and Brad Hogg are due to arrive by the end of the month to represent Lions and Cobras respectively, as well as two other yet to be contracted players who will represent Impi.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent