Chris Gayle may still be out of favour with the West Indies but he is likely to be the Jamaican team captain for the Regional Super50 cricket tournament which starts in Guyana in a couple of weeks.
The recall to domestic cricket is fitting considering Gayle’s brilliant form in India. On Monday Gayle smashed a thrilling 86 to give Royal Challengers Bangalore the sort of win against Somerset they desperately needed to keep their Champions League Twenty20 campaign alive.
Gayle’s knock ensured the margin of victory – 51 runs – was the largest of the tournament, and not only did it earn the Royal Challengers their first points but also dragged their previously negative net run-rate ahead of three other teams in Group B.
Gayle is part of a 14-man Jamaica squad and is being touted to resume the captaincy. The squad includes two newcomers Jermaine Blackwood, 19, and Kenardo Lewis, 20. Lewis is a bit of a surprise but Blackwood has already proven himself at a lower level.
West Indies players Andre Russell and Danza Hyatt will join Jamaica in Guyana to replace Marlon Samuels and Carlton Baugh who will be on the West Indies Test tour in Bangladesh.
The rest of the squad comprises of Shawn Findlay, Tamar Lambert, Chadrick Walton, Nikita Miller, Yannick Elliott, Odean Brown, Andrew Richardson, Jerome Taylor, Kristmar Santokie, Xavier Marshall and Simon Jackson.
Coach Junior Bennett thinks this squad is a balanced one capable of ending a four-year drought and lift the title. Jamaica play the Leeward Islands on 20 October. The other countries in Group B are Trinidad & Tobago and the Combined Campuses and Colleges. Group A will be contested by Barbados, Windward Islands, Guyana and Sagicor High Performance Centre (HPC).
Gayle’s knock ensured the margin of victory – 51 runs – was the largest of the tournament,