London: West Indies captain Darren Sammy has said explosive opening batsman Chris Gayle would be welcomed back into the squad as long as he honours and abides by the team’s work ethic.
“The Chris Gayle issue has been going on for a while. But we as a team have moved on. When Chris joins the set-up, he will be coming into a very hard-working environment - which he has to fit into,” Sports24 quoted Sammy, as saying.
“We all know what he is capable of doing, and we hope he could fit in nicely and do the job to take West Indies cricket forward,” he added
Windies coach Ottis Gibson was ecstatic about Gayle’s return, and branded him the best batsman in the world.
He said: “It`s great to hear that Chris is available again. I`m sure the selectors will pick him, because he`s world-class...He`s the best one-day batsman in the world.”
Gayle, who hasn’t played for the Windies since last year’s World Cup, promised to end his international exile on Thursday, and would make himself available for selection in all formats of the game for the Windies.
The former Windies captain had a dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), which was sparked off by critical comments he made about board officials in a radio interview.
The 32-year-old Jamaican left-hander, currently starring in the Indian Premier League (IPL), said on Thursday he would not be honouring his contract with county side Somerset, to make himself available to the West Indies during their tour of England, even though he`d received no guarantees about selection.
Even though he was not chosen in the West Indies Test squad for a three-match series starting at Lord`s on May 17, Gayle could now return to the side for the following one-day series, which gets under way in Southampton on June 16.