Thursday, May 3, 2012
Somerset have been a dealt a blow with the news that West Indian test star Chris Gayle will not be gracing the County Ground this season.
The international star batsman signed a contract in January and was expected to arrive in June, but the Jamaican has decided to return to the international fold after resolving his differences with the West Indies Cricket Board.
Somerset have brought in South Africa’s Faf du Plessis as his replacement. Du Plessis, who previously played for Lancashire, has taken 49 wickets in Twenty20 cricket at an average of 15.89.
Commenting on Gayle’s decision, Somerset CC Chief Executive Guy Lavender told the County’s website: “We are very disappointed that Chris Gayle will not be joining us for this season’s FLt20, particularly as we have a signed contract and a no objection certificate from the West Indies Cricket Board.”
Director of cricket Brian Rose told BBC Somerset: “It’s a disappointment but not unexpected, “Everything’s a risk. You never know if international boards are going to pick players for various series, or even drop them.
“It’s no shock to me and it’s nothing to do with the player - he’s been exceptional with his co-operation. We’re happy for him to move on.”
Meanwhile, further bad news for the Cider men came in the shape of news that skipper Marcus Trescothick could be out for a further two or three weeks with an ongoing ankle injury. The 36-year-old batsman has not played since 20 April and was originally ruled out for around six weeks after undergoing an operation.
But the surgery revealed he had ruptured a tendon and director of cricket Brian Rose says he could now be sidelined for at least two months.
“It’s more serious than we first thought,” Rose told BBC Radio Bristol.
“Realistically we are talking around eight to 10 weeks (in total).”
Meanwhile, Rose admitted the county were interested in signing Ajmal Shahzad, who was released by Yorkshire on Thursday.
“It’s a possibility,” he said. “He’s one of several we’ve had a look at.
“There are several counties chasing him and we’ve registered an interest but I think it could take three or four days to sort out.”
The England international appeared in Yorkshire’s first three County Championship matches this season but is not involved in the current match with Leicestershire.
The Tykes say they mutually agreed to release the bowler because he was “unhappy” at Headingley.
The 26-year-old has taken 135 wickets in his 49 first-class appearances, including one Test against Bangladesh in 2010, and scored 1,189 runs.