WICB wants to mop up 'residual matters' with Gayle
The West Indies Cricket Board has asked Chris Gayle to specify a date on which he can meet with it and regional officials, to mop up 'residual matters' related to their seemingly concluded spat. In a statement on Thursday, the WICB said it was pleased that Gayle had confirmed his availability for West Indies selection, but prior to matters moving further along, another meeting between the two parties was necessary.
"Directors of the West Indies Cricket Board recently met by teleconference and are pleased that consistent with his previous commitment Mr Chris Gayle has made himself available for selection to the West Indies team," the WICB statement said. "The board believes that Mr Gayle's stated commitment to West Indies cricket will be an asset to the team and looks forward to his contributions in that regard.
"The board looks forward to Mr Gayle's indication of his date of availability to meet with the WICB along with Prime Ministers Honourable Baldwin Spencer [who is the Antigua and Barbuda prime minister, and chairman of CARICOM's Prime Ministerial Sub-committee on cricket] and Honourable Ralph Gonsalves [St Vincent and the Grenadines' prime minister] as had been agreed to clear up residual matters prior to his return to the team."
Earlier this month, Gayle had pulled out of his Twenty20 contract with English county Somerset, declaring he was committed to playing for West Indies in all forms of the game. The move was believed to smooth the way for Gayle to return to the West Indies side for the limited-overs leg of the upcoming tour of England, ending a year-long standoff between Gayle and the WICB that stemmed from comments he made about the board in a radio interview last April.
Gayle's declaration had followed his request to Ernest Hilaire, the WICB chief executive, asking the board whether he would be selected for the ODI leg of the England tour in June; this, he said, was to help him clarify his availability for Somerset. Hilaire, in his response, had accused Gayle of "reneging" on the undertaking the player had given that he would make himself available to play for West Indies over Somerset during CARICOM's (the Caribbean Community) attempts to patch things up between Gayle and the board in early April.
The CARICOM-brokered deal's success was expected to be tested by an ongoing lawsuit - to which Gayle is a party - between the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) and the board, which is likely to be one of the 'residual matters' to come up for discussion.