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Gibson sure Gayle will fit in

Published:Friday | May 4, 2012 | 12:00 AM

HOVE, England (CMC):

West Indies head coach Ottis Gibson and captain Darren Sammy yesterday warmly greeted the news that talismanic opener Chris Gayle had made himself available for the limited-overs leg of the West Indies tour of England and all future engagements.

Gayle, who has not played for the Caribbean side in over a year because of a spat with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), announced Wednesday he was pulling out of his Somerset Twenty20 deal to make himself available for selection for the three one-day internationals and T20, starting here next month.

"It's great to hear that Chris is available again. I'm sure the selectors will pick him, because he's world-class," Gibson said here, a day after the tourists arrived in the country for their three-Test tour.

"If he's made himself available for the one-day series, I can't see him not being selected."

Gayle's participation in the tour remained in doubt earlier this week after negotiations with the WICB seemed to break down yet again.

Reneging on commitment

The board accused the 32-year-old Jamaican of reneging on his commitment to forgo the Somerset deal, after he wrote to them asking for a guarantee on his selection before turning down the English County.

But in a statement issued through the West Indies Players' Association, Gayle said he had turned down Somerset and was now free to represent the Windies "in all forms of cricket."

Sammy, who took over from Gayle as captain two years ago, said he expected Gayle to make a seamless re-entry into the team once he was selected.

"It will be very easy. He's the best one-day batsman in the world. So I don't think it will be a problem at all," the all-rounder said.

"He plays very well, going into many different dressing rooms all around the world and making runs. I don't think coming into ours will be any different."

In Gayle's absence from the team since last year's World Cup, Sammy said West Indies had refocused and were trying to mould themselves into a competitive unit.

He said once Gayle returned, he would be expected to share in the new team attitude and give his all in helping in the side's success.

'It's great to hear that Chris is available again. I'm sure the selectors will pick him, because he's world-class.'