Sammy leaves Gayle door ajar

Chris Gayle smashes the ball through off-side AFP

West Indies' captain Darren Sammy did nothing to quash the theory after his side's defeat at Lord's that Chris Gayle should be invited to strengthen his side in the rest of the Test series against England, as well as the one-day matches that follow.

Gayle's involvement in IPL is over after Royal Challengers Bangalore were eliminated from the tournament and such has been his troubled relationship with the WICB that any emergency dash to the UK in time to play in one or both of the remaining two Tests seems hard to imagine.

But Sammy refused to close the door on the possibility after West Indies' five-wicket defeat against England at Lord's put them 1-0 down in the series, suggesting that both he and the coach, Ottis Gibson, would be content to accommodate Gayle's late arrival.

"Whatever happens outside this squad takes its own course," Sammy told Sky Sports. "Whoever comes in we will welcome them into the team and hopefully they will help. It is up to the selectors to select the team.

"I think Chris has said he is available for Test cricket, one-day cricket and T20 so it is up to the selectors. We have been having some difficulties at the top of the order and if he comes in we would all welcome him, myself, Ottis and all the guys."

One change West Indies will consider for the second Test at Trent Bridge on Friday, and one which needs no political machinations, is the inclusion of Shane Shillingford, the Dominican who took ten wickets in his last Test, against Australia on his home ground in Roseau in April.

Shillingford, according to Sammy, had been omitted at Lord's partly because he could not cope with the cold weather - and with higher temperatures forecast in the build-up to Trent Bridge that could change.

"Shane was experiencing a bit of difficulty gripping the ball but in the course of this Test match he has done some work and hopefully his fingers will be warm enough and ready for him to play for us in the next match," Sammy said. "He played a crucial role in the last series and once he is ready to master the cold we will have him in."