Newly appointed Windies chairman of selectors Roger Harper has confirmed that veteran batsman Chris Gayle was unavailable for the upcoming series against Afghanistan but suggested the panel would focus on younger talent going forward.
Speculation has continued to surround the future of the star batsman after he announced plans to retire, following the ICC World Cup earlier this year. The 40-year-old, however, appeared to have a change of heart and went on to claim that the team’s series again India, following the cricketing showpiece, would instead be his final.
Controversy, however, erupted with many suggesting the batsman should hang up his boots and allow for the development of younger players. Following the series against India, Gayle was again quick to insist that he was in no hurry to retire. With young openers like Evin Lewis and Brandon King included in the squad, Harper suggested it was time to give younger players an opportunity to showcase their skills.
“Gayle told us he is unavailable for Afghanistan Series, but we all know Chris, he is a world-class player with a tremendous record and of course it’s difficult to replace Chris Gayle,” Harper explained.
“But I think going forward it is in a way an opportunity for young players to showcase their skills and make a name for themselves as we look ahead to the next two T20 World Cups in 2020 and 2021 and the future.”
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