Gayle gone with the wind

2012-03-13 00:00

CHRIS Gayle, the Dolphins’ star signing for the MiWay T20 Challenge, has left the country without playing a single game for the franchise.

Gayle, who arrived in South Africa suffering from a grade two groin strain, has been in a race against time to get fit for the T20 Challenge, but he has been allowed to leave South Africa so that he can attend the funeral of former West Indies team-mate Runako Morton, who died in a car accident on March 4.

“There was an outside chance he [Gayle] would be fit for one [group] game but he wanted to attend Runako Morton’s funeral and we were fine with that,” Dolphins chief executive Jesse Chellan told The Witness.

Morton will have two funeral services, one in Trinidad and one in his native island of Nevis. Gayle, regarded as one of the best T20 players in the world, left South Africa on Sunday and expressed his disappointment at not being able to play for the Dolphins.

“I am grateful for the support I received from the Kingsmead public and the board of KwaZulu-Natal cricket for their hospitality. I look forward to playing for the Dolphins at the next available opportunity,” he said.

Gayle’s departure is another blow for the Dolphins, who have suffered horrendously bad luck this season. Australia fast bowler Shaun Tait was due to take part in the T20 Challenge but pulled out before the tournament had even started with an elbow injury.

Gayle injured his groin the day before he was supposed to fly to South Africa, while the Dolphins have had four of their matches rained out in this year’s T20 Challenge. “It’s disappointing all around that he wasn’t able to play. But it’s a bit like the weather, which has meant that we haven’t been able to get a game in. Gayle getting injured the day before he was due to arrive here was unlucky but there was not much more that we could have done,” said Chellan.

Chellan pointed out that Gayle’s injury negated much of his contract and that the player did not receive a massive payout simply to sit in Durban while recovering from injury. — MWP Media.

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