Gayle Opens Door To Making Return For West Indies
The long-running stand-off between Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) appears to be closer to resolution after he turned down a deal to represent Somerset in the Friends Life t20.
He has made himself available for selection by the West Indies during the One-Day International and Twenty20 International series they play against England.
The West Indies play three ODIs between 16th and 22nd June and a T20 International on 24th June.
"I have written to Somerset and advised them I will not be honouring the commitment I made to them when I signed a contract with them," a statement from Gayle began.
"I made it clear to them my decision was made because of my commitment to West Indies cricket and to West Indies cricket fans. I believe it's time for the WICB to make a decision which will provide a clearer view of my own future.
"By making this decision, I understand it may place me in a position of considerable risk, since I am foregoing a signed contract, without any guarantees whatsoever, with only the hope I will be selected to play for the West Indies again.
"I have now satisfied all of the requests of the WICB and their selection panel, with whom I met via teleconference yesterday, and to whom I reiterated previous assurances given to the board regarding my availability.
"So that there is no doubt, I confirmed to the selectors that I was available for West Indies duty in all forms of cricket, immediately following the conclusion of my contractual obligations to my IPL franchise."
Somerset issued the following brief statement: "Somerset County Cricket Club have announced that Chris Gayle will not now be joining them to play in the 2012 FLt20."
Chief Executive Guy Lavender added: "We are very disappointed that Chris Gayle will not be joining us for this season’s FLt20, particularly as we have a signed contract and a no objection certificate from the West Indies Cricket Board. It is not unexpected in the circumstances and we will be announcing our alternative plan later today.
"However a contract is a contract and we are exploring our options and will decide what is best for Somerset in due course."
Gayle has not featured for the West Indies since March 2011 during the World Cup, but has been on good form in the Indian Premier League 2012, where he is representing the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
© Cricket World 2012