Chris Gayle released by Jamaica Tallawahs, heads to St Lucia Zouks
Chris Gayle in action for Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2019 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season.
Explosive Jamaica and West Indies opener Chris Gayle will represent St Lucia Zouks in the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) season after Jamaica Tallawahs chose not to retain him.
Gayle is the leading T20 run-scorer of all time as well as the man with the most centuries in the format. He is also the leading CPL run-scorer of all time, having made 2,344 runs at the tournament.
Commenting on Gayle arriving at the Zouks, captain Daren Sammy said: “This is great news for St Lucia Zouks and for me as a captain to have the universe boss on my side. Chris is one of the most successful T20 batsmen in the world and with his experience with our young openers, a lot can be learnt from Chris.
“I welcome him to the Zouks franchise. Chris will be in St Lucia and the fans will be happy that Jamaica has released him. I will have a motivated Chris Gayle looking to prove a point that he is one of the leading T20 batsmen in the world. I can’t wait for CPL 2020 and hopefully the coronavirus will be under control and we can have an exciting T20 tournament. Welcome home Chris Gayle.”
In February, the St Lucia franchise was purchased by KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited, Kings XI Punjab's parent company, and appointed Andy Flower as head coach. Gayle currently plays for Kings XI in the IPL.
Flower also shared his thoughts, saying: “It’s brilliant news that we have been able to get Chris Gayle with us at this year’s CPL 2020. I have got a long association with Chris running all the way back to his debut Test match in Trinidad back in 2000. I’ve seen his exploits in all three forms of the game and I am really looking forward to working with him and Daren Sammy toward a special year for St Lucia cricket.”
The 40-year-old Gayle played for the Tallawahs in the first four CPL seasons, before going to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots for two years. He re-joined the Tallawahs last season and made 116 in his second game, but ended the season with 243 runs in 10 innings as the franchise finished bottom of the table.
Gayle has won the CPL title twice with the Tallawahs and played in the final with the Patriots in 2017.
The 2020 CPL is scheduled to take place between August 19 and September 26 but the tournament organisers are currently watching the current situation with COVID-19 closely and are liaising with medical advisors and governments.
Globally, more than 2.5 million people have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. More than 170,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University.