Gayle set for T20I return
Chris Gayle is expected to return to West Indies’ T20I squad for the first time in two years, when the side takes on the visiting Sri Lankans at the start of March. West Indies will announce a squad later this week, but Gayle has interrupted a stint with the Quetta Gladiators in the PSL to return to the Caribbean, having been given indications that he will feature in the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.
As with the other members, Gayle will undergo a fitness assessment before the final squad is named. If he does play, it will be the first time he has represented West Indies in any format since August 2019, when he played an ODI against India; it will be exactly two years to the day since he last played a T20 international, against England in March 2019.
Gayle is scheduled to return to Pakistan for the remainder of the PSL after the last T20I, on 7 March - an arrangement that had been agreed upon after the draft, but before the season began. In fact, the PSL had announced just before the season that Faf du Plessis would be a partial replacement for Gayle just before the season began, though they did not specify why such cover was needed.
But this recall, under the captaincy of Kieron Pollard, marks a significant milestone in Gayle’s career, as well as for West Indies, coming as it does in a year in which they will be preparing to defend their T20 world title. That tournament is due to take place in India in October-November, West Indies having won the last edition of the tournament also in India, in 2016.
At 41, Gayle’s future - international and otherwise - has been the subject of on-off discussion since the 2019 World Cup. Prior to the event, he had said the World Cup would be his last ODI cricket, though he reversed the decision during the tournament itself.