KINGSTON – West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle has thanked Prime Minister of Jamaica Portia Simpson Miller for the part she played in his reinstatement to the regional team.
Gayle was banned from the West Indies side for more than a year due to a dispute between himself and the West Indies Cricket Board. He returned to Jamaica during the week, after the ICC Twenty/20 tournament, and praised Prime Minister Simpson Miller for successfully lobbying the board on his behalf.
“To have been out of West Indies cricket for a year and a half was devastating for me, but that is life and we have to deal with it, and then eventually it paid off. Thanks to our own Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who actually delivered on what she planned for, of having me back in the team,” Gayle said on his return home.
Gayle’s dispute with the WICB stemmed from public criticism levelled against head coach Ottis Gibson and captain Darren Sammy. However, he said he was happy to be back on the team.
Gayle emerged from the tournament as the second leading run-scorer, steering the team to its first hold on the title. He made 219 runs at an average of 54.75 with a strike rate of 165.90.
“It is good to be back home. We enjoyed each and every moment of this T20 tournament and we are happy to be champions for the first time,” said Gayle, ranked second on the ICC T20 batting list, behind New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum.
“Hopefully, this is the start of many good things to come for West Indies cricket. We are very happy to be champions and, hopefully, this is the start of a new beginning for West Indies cricket,” he said.