Celebrated West Indies opening batting star, and captain of the Tallawahs, Chris Gayle, will seek to lead the Jamaica team to victory when they meet Guyana Amazon Warriors at Providence Stadium in their first Caribbean Premier League T20 competition encounter on August 2nd.
This is by no means a stellar performance from the “big man” given his record and history in this format of the game.
This slump in form also has not been lost on Paul Nixion, the coach of the Jamaica Tallawahs. At a recent press conference, he noted that Chris Gayle will bounce back and with a few games under his belt, he will do well.
“We all know what he is capable of and he is a player who has showed great confidence and resilience in his career in the past, especially in the second half of his career,” said Nixon.
Although his batting technique has come under greater scrutiny recently, it would be foolish to right off Gayle as having passed his best. The fact is Gayle has been through rough patches before and has managed to return to form at his imperial best.
That said, Gayle will have at his disposal some of the best local and international stars to test the other teams in the CPL T20 competition.
In addition to having the Sri Lanka king of spin, Muttiah Muralitharan – the man with 800 Test wickets and 534 One-Day International wickets, he will have the determined South African, Jacques Rudolph, and exciting all-rounder Vernon Philander as well as the captivating opener and bright young prospect, Ahmad Shahzad of Pakistan.
Already, Muralitharan is relishing the thought of playing on the slow wicket in Guyana which has a reputation of helping slower bowlers.
“Spin will play a big part in this series. We have a good spin attack with Nikita Miller and Chris Gayle, unless the wickets will be flat. But other teams have good spin bowlers as well,” he reportedly said.
Cricket fans throughout the region will no doubt be anticipating an exciting and thrilling experience during this tournament and if Gayle comes good, it will be a rapture of unspeakable joy.
The team is scheduled to play their away games, accordingly:
Friday, August 2, Guyana Amazon Warriors
Sunday, August 4, Antigua Hawksbills
Wed, August 7, Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel
Sat, August 10, St Lucia Zouks
Following this, the team will later return to Kingston where they are scheduled to play their final two preliminary-round of matches at Sabina Park.
Members of the Jamaica squad include: Chris Gayle (captain) Carlton Baugh, Jermaine Blackwood, Akeem Dewar, Nikita Miller, Vernon Philander, Jacques Rudolph, Chadwick Walton, Ahmed Shehzad, David Bernard, Nkrumah Bonner, Danza Hyatt, Muttiah Muralitharan, Andrew Richardson, Andre Russell.