Gayle’s injury not serious

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WESTERN Australia have clarified that the side strain their overseas star Chris Gayle sustained during the defeat to South Australia in Perth is only a minor one and that it will not keep him away from international duty.

Gayle, who is playing for Western Australia in the ongoing domestic Twenty20 tournament, strained a side muscle and had to retire hurt on 40, but scans revealed no tear.

The team’s medical staff have decided not to allow Gayle to feature in Western Australia’s next game against Tasmania tomorrow, and are confident the West Indies captain will be fit for the clash with New South Wales on January 5.

“We’ll be working in consultation with their (the West Indies) medical team but at the end of the day we’ll be wanting the best for Chris Gayle,” said Western Australia’s coach Tom Moody.

“We are certainly not going to wheel him out there if he’s not fit. It’s unfair on him as a professional athlete and it’s unfair on the team to play a guy that’s half fit. At the end of the day we’ll be making sure we do the best thing for him.”

This means Gayle will easily be fit for the five-match one-day series between Australia and West Indies, starting February 7.

Gayle suffered the injury in the second over of the team’s chase. He immediately grabbed at his left side after attempting to heave a Mark Cleary delivery over the rope.

He batted on for three more overs but left the field after smacking 40 from just 16 balls. Gayle returned in the 16th over but was clearly hampered by the injury.

Gayle is one of the finest Twenty20 batsmen in the world and remains the only man to have scored a century in a Twenty20 international. (Cricinfo)