Chris Gayle hoping to be fit for his 100th Test against New Zealand
Chris Gayle expressed hope to be part of the West Indian Test team that faces New Zealand at home on the 8th of June. The batsman who is going to undergo treatment in Germany will be making his 100th Test appearance for the West Indies if his back injury recovers in time. The aggressive opener skipped the initial few matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore, before making a return to revive the fortunes of his struggling franchise in vain.
"It started at the end of the T20 World Cup. I thought initially it was a simple thing but I went back home for a couple of days," Gayle told Indian Express. "Then I travelled back to Dubai to play in the IPL and when I started training I found it difficult. I could not bat properly and bending was a problem and sprinting between the wickets was a problem even though you guys don't see me running much. It was difficult but I tried my best," said the 34-year old who is set to become just the 9th West Indian to play in 100 or more Test matches.
The Jamaican left-hander has been affected by fitness concerns for a long time now dating back to November 2013. Since withdrawing from the ODI series against India, he has missed the tour of New Zealand, and also the one-dayers against England.
"It will mean a lot to me. I have been serving West Indies cricket for the last 13 years and going on to 14 years now, I am actually looking forward to this milestone. I have missed out on the last couple of months because of injury. I was supposed to get past this milestone a long time back but it didn't happen. As a cricketer these things happen and you pick injuries at crucial times,” Gayle said.
"I still have an injury now and I am trying to get it sorted as quickly as possible so I can be fully fit for the special occasion. It is going to be played at home so it is a big occasion for me and for the people back home too. I don't have much time but hopefully it will work out and I will be back on the field quickly," added Gayle.
The senior batsmen has been included in the West Indian 15-member squad. The players will be involved in a preparatory camp which Gayle is expected to join on June 1 along with Sunil Narine, who is still in India – with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
The squad also has other fitness concerns in Dwayne Bravo and Kemar Roach with shoulder injuries and Jerome Taylor, who is making a comeback after three years, completing the long list of injured players.
West Indies training squad: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Sunil Narine, Shane Shillingford, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor