Gayle snubs Somerset to rejoin Windies
Chris Gayle is on the verge of returning to international cricket with West Indies after backtracking on a deal to play for Somerset.
The 32-year-old has not featured for the Windies for more than a year, after falling out with the West Indies Cricket Board, and he had penned a deal to play with the south west county in this season's Friends Life t20 competition.
But, after protracted talks with the authorities it appears as though all parties involved have come to an agreement and the big-hitting batsmen looks set to take his place in the side for part of the upcoming tour of England.
Gayle has been no stranger to controversy and it is not the first time that he has been involved in a dispute with the Windies board but his criticism of team selection and coach Ottis Gibson back in early 2011 looked as though it may have ended his career at the highest level.
The left-hander has been far from inactive over the past 14 months, however, with spells in Australia's Big Bash competition plus the inaugural Bangladesh Premier League.
His game is tailor-made for the shortest version of the sport and the Jamaican is currently destroying attacks in the IPL with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
He has, to date, hit scores of 68, 81, 87, 86 and 71, and is one of the most feared players in the tournament.
While the English domestic T20 competition does not have the glamour or glitz of its sub-continental counterpart, it is still a big part of the cricket calendar and is well-supported, and Gayle's presence in the Somerset side would have made them strong favourites to win the event.
But he will play no part and has made it clear that he has now committed himself to playing for the island nation once again.
"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)," he 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."
Gayle has scored 6,373 Test runs at an average of 41.65, with 13 centuries and 33 fifties, but it is in the one-day game that he really excels.
His combative style of batting has garnered 8,087 runs at an average of almost 40 with 19 tons and 43 scores of 50.
His presence both on and of the field will give the men from the Caribbean a huge boost as they embark on their three-Test tour of England and Gayle will be available for selection once his stint in the IPL finishes - meaning he will not arrive until after the second Test.