The former Windies captain, who has been ignored by selectors ever since his return from the Indian Premier League in April, says he has heard nothing from selectors with Test and one-day squad set to be announced shortly for the imminent tour of Bangladesh.
A West Indies Cricket Board release this week said players selected for the Bangladesh tour had been invited to the training camp held here at the High Performance Centre, to prepare along the side the Twenty20 squad which head to England next week for a two-match series.
Gayle, however, said he had not been informed about the camp. “I’m available whenever I’m needed, which I’ve pointed out to them (WICB) that I’m available for West Indies cricket. There’s a camp [going on] but nothing has been said [to me],” Gayle said during a television interview in Jamaica this week. No team has been announced yet for the tour of Bangladesh which includes one Twenty20, three One-Day Internationals and two Tests and runs from October 7 to November 2.
Gayle is currently in India where he will turn out for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Champions League Twenty20, set to start on Monday and end October 9.
The giant left-hander has been involved in an impasse with the WICB over comments he made in a highly charged interview with a Jamaica radio station back in April.
At the time, the Board indicated that Gayle would have to explain his comments before he could be considered for selection for the series against India in June/July, but a June meeting in Jamaica involving Gayle, WICB and West Indies Players Association officials, failed to resolve the matter.
Gayle said he had since met privately with WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire last month in Antigua and ironed out the issue. “It was a good productive meeting. Myself and the CEO actually together sat down and had a fair and frank discussion with each other,” Gayle said.
“He pointed out … the problems he had with me which we actually sorted out.” Gayle claims he was told by Hilaire following the meeting that he would be contacted by coach Ottis Gibson and chairman of selectors Clyde Butts.
In a subsequent telephone call, Gayle said Gibson had asked him to publicly retract comments he had made during the radio interview, but he reiterated to the Windies coach that he was standing by what he had said. “Then he (Gibson) said basically he would actually write a report on what our conversation [was], send it to the CEO and eventually they’ll get back to me after that,” Gayle explained.
“That’s the last time I had a conversation with any particular one from the Board and that’s how things have played out at this point in time.” Gayle remains the West Indies’ premier opener, averaging 41 from 91 Tests and 39 from 228 one-dayers. He is one of only four batsmen in the history of the game to have scored two Test triple centuries, with Don Bradman, Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag the others. Despite the cloud of uncertainty surrounding Gayle’s career, the hard-hitting batsman said he had no immediate plans on quitting the sport, and becoming a Twenty20 specialist.
“I don’t reach the stage of retiring yet. I still have a lot of cricket to play, internationally as well,” he stressed.