Chris Gayle missed Saturday’s second One-Day International against New Zealand with an undisclosed illness, as mystery continued to surround the marquee left-hander’s health.
The 38-year-old sat out the New Zealand innings in the opening ODI in Whangarei last Wednesday, with team officials saying only that he was ill and would be seeking further medical advice on arrival in Christchurch for the second match.
He appeared in no discomfort when he scored 22 in the Windies innings as they tallied 248 for nine off their 50 overs, a target the hosts easily chased down to win by five wickets with 24 balls remaining.
Ahead of the second ODI in Christchurch which bowled off 6 pm, Friday (Eastern Caribbean time), captain Jason Holder said there was no real update on the Jamaican’s health.
“He’s recovering and he’s been monitored over the last few days,” said Holder.
“I’m still not able to give a strong position on where he’s at but he is better than the last game.”
He added: “He’s in good spirits . . . Chris is always a bubbly guy, he’s full of jokes.
“He’s still that normal way, so just hoping he can recover well enough to take a further part in the tour.”
Gayle was expected to be a key member of the Windies squad as the Caribbean side chased their first ODI series victory on New Zealand soil in 22 years.
The big-hitting opener is the most experienced player in the side with 274 ODIs and 9416 runs, making him the natural leader of the batting group.
He only returned to the Windies set-up last September for the England series following a 2-1/2 year break from the one-day format, and immediately made an impact in the five-match rubber.
With the third and final ODI of the series scheduled for Boxing Day also in Christchurch, Gayle could likely face a race against time to be available for the encounter.
Gayle’s absence represents a major blow for the Windies who are winless on the tour of New Zealand so far.
They drew the opening warm-up encounter against New Zealand A, lost the two-Test series 2-0 before going down in a one-day practice match to a New Zealand XI.
The talismanic batsman is also expected to be a pivotal member of the T20 side which take on the hosts in a three-match series beginning December 29 in Nelson.