Gayle poised for Windies recall
Chris Gayle looks set to return to the West Indies set-up for the Test series against England after turning his back on a deal with Somerset.
The big-hitting Jamaican left-hander has not played for his country for more than a year following a spat with the WICB - with Gayle having agreed to play Twenty20 for Somerset.
However following talks with the WICB, the 32-year-old has reneged on the contract and made himself available for the Windies.
"I wish to advise that as of today, I have written to Somerset CC and advised them that I will not be honouring the commitment I made to them when I signed a contract with them for the 2012 (Friends Life T20)," Gayle said in a statement.
"I made it clear to them that my decision was made because of my commitment to West Indies cricket and to West Indies cricket fans, and because I believe that it is time for the WICB to make a decision which will provide a clearer view of my own future.
"I understand that by making this decision, 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 that 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, Royal Challengers Bangalore."
Gayle has not played for West Indies since the 2011 World Cup, but he has been in outstanding form in the IPL.
He is third on the tournament's run tally and has scored 81, 87, 4, 86 and 71 from his past five innings.
The West Indies tour of England will begin on May 17 with the first of three Tests.
The team is also slated to play three one-day internationals starting June 16 and a solitary Twenty20 international on June 24.
Somerset have said they are now considering their options and could take action against Gayle for failing to honour his contract.
Chief executive Guy Lavender told the county's website: "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.''