Far from the crisis that has gripped West Indies cricket after the team's pullout from the Indian tour, Chris Gayle is set to storm South Africa's Ram Slam T20 tournament. The powerful left-handed opening batsman, who played the last of his 103 Tests against Bangladesh in September this year and featured in 258 ODIs, has been an integral part of T20 leagues around the world for the last six years.
Now, Gayle, 35, will be seen in action for the Highveld Lions when they clash against the Sunfoil Dolphins at Bidvest Wanderers on Sunday. One of the greatest batsmen to have emerged from the West Indies in modern times, Gayle has missed out on international action after failing to recover from a lower-back injury. He was not available for the team's controversial tour of India where the players, led by captain Dwayne Bravo pulled out over pay disputes.
The aggressive Gayle, who has played 185 T20 matches amassing a staggering 6551 runs at an average of 41.72, should help the Lions roar. Highveld Lions, who managed only one win last season, will be delighted to have of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket. In the IPL, Gayle has shown his value for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and when he clobbered a breathtaking 175 against Pune Warriors.