Gayle targeting NAGICO Super50 comeback
Sydney, Australia - Chris Gayle has said that he will "skip" joining up with Dolphins for South Africa's domestic Ram Slam T20 Challenge, as he is still recovering from injury.
Gayle announced in a television interview during the Big Bash League match between Sydney Thunder and Brisbane Heat that he would not be travelling to Durban, and instead be focussing on making a return for West Indies' regional 50-over competition, which begins at the end of January.
This will be the second time Gayle has withdrawn from Dolphins, after a similar situation two seasons ago. Gayle originally signed with Dolphins for the 2011-12 tournament but did not play a game.
On that occasion, he arrived in South Africa carrying an injury, received treatment in Durban and then left when it became apparent that he would not recover in time.
This time, Gayle's participation was thrown into doubt when he tore his hamstring during an ODI against India in November. He was initially expected to be out of action for up to five weeks, but has still not returned to full fitness.
Gayle took no part in West Indies' ongoing series against New Zealand either and last week, Dwayne Bravo confirmed that Gayle would not be playing in the upcoming T20s because he "has a while to go" with his recovery.
Despite the injury, Dolphins were expecting Gayle to arrive in Durban next Wednesday. Yesterday, the franchise tweeted, "The countdown to Chris Gayle arriving has started. Expected 15th Jan.
Get ready to give @henrygayle a warm Dbn welcome." But a day later, Dolphins said they would release a statement regarding Gayle on Wednesday afternoon, and that they were still "sorting a few things out".
With Shahid Afridi already pulling out from joining Knights due to family reasons, Gayle's no-show is a double blow for the competition which was aiming for a much larger foreign presence.