Chris Gayle may have worn the IPL’s orange cap for the majority of the competition having blasted 608 runs at an average of 67.55 but he remains persona non grata with the West Indies Cricket Board having been excluded from their squad to face India.
Gayle, named IPL Player of the Tournament after his team Bangalore Royal Challengers lost to Chennai Super Kings in Saturday’s final, has not been included in the squad for the Twenty20 game and the first two ODIs against India.
The reason lies with a controversial interview Gayle gave with KLAS Sports, a radio station in Jamaica, where he criticised the WICB’s treatment of him for the IPL and described national coach Otis Gibson as a “user.”
Gayle was not selected in the original January auction for IPL4 because of his desire to play in the recent Test and one-day series against Pakistan.
However the WICB refused to pick him, citing an injury sustained in the World Cup, which Gayle claimed he had recovered from, and instead the batsman decided to sign for Bangalore. A decision that also brought barbs from the WICB.
Gayle’s long-term international future now looks in real doubt following this latest omission but the player has been summoned to a meeting with top cricketing officials in the Caribbean.
“Chris Gayle will not be considered for selection to the West Indies team before an intended meeting with himself, the selection committee, the WICB management and the West Indies team management,” a statement from the WICB said.
“The selection committee views this meeting as necessary as a result of Gayle’s comments in a widely publicised radio interview in Jamaica.”
Allrounder Kieron Pollard, who played in the World Cup but missed the Pakistan series to play for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, is back in the side for the first two ODIs, but there is no room for Jerome Taylor, who like Gayle claimed the WICB failed to contact him about how he was recovering from an injury until after he had departed for the IPL.
Uncapped Jamaican left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie is the only change in the T20 squad.
Pollard and Dwayne Bravo were not included in the Twenty20 squad having not played in the recent Caribbean Twenty20 tournament.
West Indies and India will play five ODIs as well as three Tests.