Gayle to play for Sydney in Aussie T20

SYDNEY,  (Reuters) – Hard-hitting West Indies batsman  Chris Gayle will play for Sydney Thunder in Australia’s revamped  domestic Twenty20 tournament.   

The swashbuckling 31-year-old, who top-scored in the Indian  Premier League with the Bangalore Royal Challengers earlier this  year, was signed immediately after a player contracting window  opened on Thursday for the eight-team “Big Bash” league.  
 

Chris Gayle

“I am thrilled to be able to come to Sydney and play for the  Thunder,” left-hander Gayle said on Cricket New South Wales’s  website (www.cricketnsw.com.au).   
“Having worked well with John Dyson in the West Indies, I  was impressed with his plans for the Thunder and I think the  team will have a great chance to win this competition,” added  Jamaican Gayle, referring to the Australian former West Indies  coach and general manager of Thunder.  

Gayle had played the last two T20 seasons for Western  Australia, but turned down a A$250,000 ($267,000) offer to  remain in the state with Perth Scorchers, local media said.   

Australia’s cricket administrators hope the T20 tournament  can replicate the success of the IPL and rejuvenate domestic  cricket after years of flagging interest.   
The tournament features eight teams based on city identities  for the first time in a departure from the state-based format of  its first six years.   
The teams can sign up to two overseas players out of a  minimum 14 over the three-week contracting window.

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