West Indies in Sri Lanka 2010-11 November 5, 2010

We will rally around Sammy - Gayle

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Gayle, the former West Indies captain, has reiterated his support for his successor, Darren Sammy, as West Indies embark on a challenging tour of Sri Lanka. Gayle and some of his team-mates left for Sri Lanka on Thursday, while the remainder of the squad would fly out on Friday.

Sammy, who has played only eight Tests and wasn't a regular member of the Test team, was handed the captaincy after Gayle, as well Dwayne Bravo, turned down his central contract. Bravo was replaced by Brendan Nash as the team's vice-captain.

"It will be a new role for Sammy. I wish him all the best and we will all be there to rally around him and give him the necessary support," Gayle said. "He is the one who will have to take charge and lead from the front and we all know he is capable. We are all there to try and guide and help him."

The West Indies squad trained in Barbados as preparation for the Sri Lanka trip and Gayle said he was "feeling good" and "hitting the ball really well". "I hit a lot of balls in the camp and I'm looking forward to the tour," he said. "We are looking to have a winning tour. The preparations went really well and you could see everyone putting in the hard work. It will be different conditions to what we are accustomed to. We have a three-day warm-up game to get acclimatised and take it from there."

West Indies will play three Tests, five one-dayers and a Twenty20 international on the Sri Lanka tour, which begins with a warm-up match at the SSC in Colombo on November 10.