Chris Gayle's 14-month exile from the West Indies team has ended with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) picking him for the ODI series against England.
The WICB and Gayle parted ways after last year's World Cup, when he gave an explosive radio interview sharply criticising the WICB and blaming coach Ottis Gibson for undermining the confidence of senior players.
The WICB continued to exclude a batsman with two Test triple tons, demanding he apologise or withdraw his comments. However, the way was paved for Gayle’s return after he sat down in a high-level meeting in St Vincent on Sunday, with St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer also in attendance.
Chairman of selectors Clyde Butts has welcomed Gayle’s return to the West Indies team, saying the big-hitting left-hander will bring a “quality dimension” to the Caribbean side. “Chris is a player of proven quality and we are looking forward to him adding this dimension to the side and his contributions as a senior member of the squad,” Butts said.
Eight members of the current Test squad in the UK have been included in the ODI squad. Butts commented: “We are now beginning to move into the next phase of the development of the team as we continue to build our ODI side as we continue to plan for the 2015 World Cup. A number of players who we have been exposed to international cricket and who, by their recent performances, have shown that they can play roles in the team have been retained.”
“There is, what we believe, is a balanced combination of young rising players like Sunil Narine in the bowling department and Johnson Charles in the top order of the batting in addition to the well known seasoned internationals,” he added.
West Indies One Day International Squad – UK Tour 2012
Darren Sammy – captain
Dwayne Bravo – vice captain
Denesh Ramdin – Wicketkeeper