Chris Gayle, the West Indies batsman, is among a number of current and former international cricketers who will play in the Stanbic Bank 20 Series, Zimbabwe's domestic Twenty20 competition. Gayle is part of the Tuskers squad while Shaun Tait, the Australia fast bowler, and Lou Vincent, the New Zealand batsman, will play for the Mid West Rhinos. Netherlands allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate is part of the Eagles squad, while Australia fast bowler Dirk Nannes will turn out for the Mountaineers.

"This is the tournament's third year and we set our sights high," Alistair Campbell, the Stanbic Bank 20 Series, said. "I didn't expect everyone to be able to accept our invitation but I'm especially pleased that Chris Gayle is coming all the way from Jamaica to be a part of the tournament.

"It makes it even more special for Zimbabwe Cricket that Chris was motivated by the chance see how the game is progressing in our country and make a contribution to our development and return to competitive international cricket after a pretty bleak decade."

Gayle has not played for West Indies since the 2011 World Cup, following a breakdown in his relations with the West Indies Cricket Board. Since then he has been restricted mostly to domestic Twenty20 competitions around the world, and has become an integral part of Royal Challengers Bangalore's squad in the IPL and Champions League T20. He was the leading run-getter at this year's IPL.

"I am a cricketer and I want to play," Gayle said of his decision to play in Zimbabwe. "It was a different challenge and a chance to travel and meet new people and new team-mates. I would rather be playing for West Indies but while that's not possible I want to use my time wisely, entertain some people and try to do some good."

Former South Africa allrounder Andrew Hall, who is player-coach of the Eagles franchise, and former New Zealand allrounder Chris Harris, who will continue with Mountaineers from last season, are also part of the tournament. One big name missing out is Lance Klusener, the former South Africa allrounder, who played for Mountaineers last season.