Cape Town: West Indies opener Chris Gayle will continue to play for South African franchise Highveld Lions in the Ram Slam Twenty20 League, despite pulling out of the Test tour starting here later this month.
Lions coach Geoffrey Toyana confirmed that Gayle would suit up for Sunday’s semi-final against Knights, and if they were successful, the subsequent final Dec 12, reports CMC.
“His back is causing him a lot of trouble. We're only planning on using him for the semi-final and hopefully the final,” Toyana said.
Gayle, however, did not play in Wednesday’s contest against Knights which was rained out.
The left-hander has been a key part of the Lions’s charge to the playoffs, smashing his 13th T20 hundred last month as they beat Warriors in East London,
Of late, though, Gayle has struggled with a persistent back injury which hampered his participation in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) and caused him to consult a German-based specialist prior to the series against New Zealand.
He missed the final Test against Bangladesh in September and was also ruled out of the ill-fated one-day tour of India a month later.
The West Indies manager Richie Richardson, who arrived here with the squad Tuesday, said he would not elaborate on Gayle’s injury situation.
“I don't have all the necessary information. We stand by the official statement we released about his injury. He won't be part of the Test series.”
Windward Islands opener Devon Smith has replaced Gayle in the 15-man squad.