Veteran batting star Chris Gayle has made a sudden about-turn and agreed to play in the Bangladesh Premier League, just days after announcing he was taking a break from the game.
The 40-year-old said last week he would not play again this year following his stint in the South African Mzansi Super League, and even told media he was at odds to explain why he had been associated with the Chattogram Challengers franchise in the BPL bowling off December 11.
However, Challengers announced Monday that the big-hitting West Indies left-hander would feature in the league, following discussions with his representatives.
“We are happy to announce that Gayle will play for us and there is no uncertainty about his participation in the tournament,” said Challengers managing director, KM Rifatuzzaman.
“He is having a hamstring problem, so we will not get him from the beginning, but we are hopeful to have him at some point in the tournament.
“We have finalised everything with Gayle’s agent. Some formalities are not done yet, but all those things will be completed soon.”
Sources have said Gayle is not expected to suit up before January 4 in the tournament, which runs until February 8.
In wide-ranging comments following his appearance in the Mzansi Super League, Gayle complained of the need to “recharge my batteries and think ahead in life”.
He said he had already made himself unavailable for West Indies’ series against India starting this week, and also ruled himself out of the Australia Big Bash beginning this month.
“West Indies called me to play ODIs, but I am not going to play. They (selectors) want me to play with the youngsters but for this year I am going to take a break,” Gayle said last month.
“I am not going to the Big Bash. I’m not sure what cricket will come up, I don’t even know how my name reached the BPL, but I have been drafted in a team and I don’t even know how that happened.”
Following his comments, Challengers called on the Bangladesh Cricket Board to take action against Gayle if he failed to participate in the BPL.
Gayle is in the twilight of a storied career that has seen him become the most successful batsman in T20 franchise history.