Somerset sign Chris Gayle for NatWest T20 Blast
Somerset fans will have a lot to look forward to this season as the county team has signed Chris Gayle for the NatWest T20 Blast this year. The opener joins the illustrious list comprising of Sir Vivian Richards, Joel Garner and Sir Ian Botham as the players to have played for Somerset. Unlike 2012, where Gayle had pulled out of his Somerset contract owing to National duty, this time fans can expect to see him in action for a period of three weeks. In his own words:
"I'm excited about joining Somerset for the NatWest T20 Blast this year, Many of the club's members and supporters will know that I came close to playing for the county in 2012 and I have always felt that, if I was able to, I wanted to honor that commitment to Somerset. I'm looking forward to coming to Taunton and scoring some runs."
The big Jamaican was nursing a back injury at the World Cup. West Indies’ early exit at the quarter finals could prove a blessing in disguise for Gayle as he would get a mini-breather before the IPL begins. Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) star batsman could squeeze in as many as six county games between his IPL and Caribbean Premier League commitments. Also, if RCB don’t make the knockouts, the county fans could see more of Gayle.
Gayle is a formidable force in the shortest version of the game striking at the rate of 147.18 per 100 balls with a healthy average of 42.01. The 35-year-old is much sought out batsman in the cricketing circles and is viewed as a valuable addition to the squad as can be gathered from the words of Matt Maynard, Somerset's director of cricket:
"Signing a world-class player of the quality of Chris Gayle is tremendously exciting for the club. He will be a tremendous addition to our already extremely strong squad. He is an inspirational character and we are delighted to be bringing him to Somerset.”
Somerset has further strengthened their squad with the addition of Sohail Tanvir and the hard hitting Corey Anderson. Abdur Rehman too is part of the squad.