Shimron Hetmyer, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell were among West Indies players were retained by their Indian Premier League franchises on Wednesday. However, several others were cut loose and will re-enter the pool of players eligible for the IPL Draft coming up on February 11.

Indian Premier League (IPL) club Kings XI Punjab are expected to predictably retain West Indian star batsman Chris Gayle but will release his compatriot Sheldon Cottrell ahead of the new season.

The 31-year-old pace bowler was bought for a sizeable INR 8.5 crore ($US1,156,239) during the IPL 2020 auction but failed to justify the price tag.  In six matches, Cottrell bowled 20 overs, claiming 6 wickets for 176 runs at an expensive economy rate of 8.80.  Unfortunately, perhaps the player's biggest moment came after being on the wrong side of thrashing from Rajasthan Royals Rahul Tewatia, who smashed 5 sixes off one of his overs during a record run chase.

Gayle, on the other hand, was sensational.  Despite starting the season on the sidelines, the big left-hander became the driving force behind the team's push for a playoff spot, although it ended with the team narrowly missing out on 6th spot.  The West Indian had been left on the bench for the first seven games of the season.  He was not picked for the first five, and food poisoning ruled him out for the next two.  He ended with 288 runs at an average of 44.14 and a high score of 99.

India batsman Karun Nair is also expected to be released but the team remains undecided on Australian Glenn Maxwell, who had a mediocre IPL season but had a splendid series against India.

  

With 13584 runs, 22 centuries and 85 50s under his belt Christopher Henry Gayle is arguably the greatest T20 batsman in history.

Chris Gayle, Chadwick Walton and Sherfane Rutherford and Carlos Brathwaite were the four West Indies players selected to play in the Pakistan Super League following the 2021 Draft held in Lahore on Sunday.

A personal health crisis is what Olympian Michael Frater said got him interested in the medicinal benefits of cannabis and eventually led to the opening of the 4/20 Therapeutic Bliss dispensary in Manor Park, Kingston on Saturday.

Frater, 38, represented Jamaica at the senior level for more than a decade, winning gold medals as a member of Jamaica’s world-record-setting 4x100m relay teams at the World Championships in Daegu, South Korea in 2011 and again at the London Olympics in 2012.

He also won a silver medal in the 100m at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki, Finland. He was also a 100m champion at the 2003 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic.

However, about five years ago persistent problems with his knees forced him to retire.

At Saturday’s launch, he explained how those knee problems introduced him to the healing properties of cannabis.

“I had very bad knees, and I remember waking up one day, and my knees were swollen, and I couldn’t walk. I went to the University Hospital (of the West Indies) where I met with Dr (Carl) Bruce and ran some tests but nobody could figure out what was wrong,” he told the gathering that included Jamaica’s Minister of Sports Olivia Grange, former world record holder Asafa Powell and Jamaica and West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle.

Christopher Samuda, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association and Ali McNab, an advisor to the sports minister were also in attendance and were in rapt attention as Frater shared his harrowing experience.

“I had an IAAF (World Athletics) function in Monaco. I remember leaving on Monday and got there on Tuesday and I couldn’t even walk off the plane. They had to send a wheelchair for me,” he recalled.

Initially, doctors in Monaco believed his condition was the result of doping, he said, but subsequent tests disproved their theories even though they were still unable to determine what was the cause of the constant swelling and fluid build-up in his knees.

He spent two weeks in hospital there where doctors ‘patched’ him up enough to enable him to fly home.

A subsequent visit to a medical facility in Florida was also unable to help him get any closer to identifying what was wrong with his knees, he said which left him fearing he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

It was then that his father, Lindel Frater, suggested he tried cannabis oil. He tried it and within a month he felt ‘brand new’, he said.

“I started studying a lot about it and realized that a drug that has been taboo for most of my life is really a miracle drug. It’s really a drug that once taken properly with the proper prescription, the medicinal purposes are exponential.”

Minister Grange applauded the retired Olympian and praised him for his initiative in opening the dispensary. She eventually made the first purchase of medicinal marijuana. Samuda also shared similar sentiments while praising Frater for his venture into the cannabis industry.

Gayle, meanwhile, said Frater’s venture was an example for other retired athletes to emulate.

“I am a big supporter of Michael's career and now his business venture, and from a sportsman's point of view, there is life after your original career and to actually venture in a business is good for him and we are here to support him 100 per cent,” said Gayle.

Powell, who was Frater’s teammate on several national teams, said, his friend and colleague, was always a budding entrepreneur.

“From ever since, Michael has always been the brains among all of us. He has always been driven, business-oriented. I have always admired that about him,” said the former 100m world record holder who brought his wife Alyshia along.

“It’s kind of intimidating sometimes when you’re talking to him, and he is saying some stuff I don’t even know about, so I have always known he would make this step into business.

“He keeps pushing and I am very, very happy for him.”

Nicholas Pooran believes the West Indies’ low ranking in T20 cricket is due mainly to the fact that it hasn’t been able to put its best players on the field of play often enough.

The West Indies are currently ranked 10th in the ICC T20 rankings despite having some of the best players in the world in their talent pool. However, Pooran anticipates that the team could show its full potential at the next world cup.

“I just believe that most of the series West Indies play, they don't play with their strongest team. And by strongest I mean Chris Gayle, Pollard, Russell, Narine, Bravo in the team together,” the talented Trinidadian said in a recent interview with ESPNCricinfo.

“In the last couple of years, we haven't witnessed these players together. Either most of them weren't selected, some were unavailable ... but definitely a case around that.

“We couldn't play as a team after the last T20 World Cup. This, I am saying from a player's and a fan's point of view. Not seeing some of my favourite players represent West Indies might be one of the reasons.”

Notwithstanding the disappointment that comes with that reality, Pooran said he is looking forward to the coming T20 World Cup where he expects to be a better player holding his own amongst the best players from the region.

“Personally, I am looking forward to the T20 World Cup. As a team, our strength is T20s. For the last couple of years, we've been doing good in World Cups, but as a team where we are ranked [10th], it doesn't show how good our team actually is,” he said, indicating that believes that situation could change in the near future.

“Most of the senior guys are coming back to the West Indies team ... like Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are all coming back eventually.

“As a player, I am especially excited because I want to do good for the West Indies people and put a smile on their faces. My record for West Indies in T20s isn't that good and I want to improve that for the next couple of months.”

 

 

Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo and Carlos Brathwaite are among several West Indies players who have made themselves available for the Pakistan Super League draft set for January 10, 2021, in Lahore.

Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons were also the players whose names were released on Tuesday by the PSL. They are among 25 international players who will be available for the six-team competition even though some of them will only be available for a part of the season due to a packed international calendar during the February to March window.

Gayle has played previously in the PSL for the Karachi Kings and the Lahore Qalanders.

Other notable players who are in the draft pool include Imran Tahir, Chris Jordan, Chris Lyn, Mohammed Nabi, Alex Hales and Morne Morkel.

The 25 foreign players have been placed in the 'Platinum' category, from which the six franchises will select.

 

 

West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle has made it clear that he is looking forward to the T20 World Cup, with high hopes of helping the regional team win a third title.

Gayle’s last appearance for the Windes, a One Day International match at the Queen’s Park Oval last year, was a dramatic affair as he walked off the field to applause from both sets of players and fans.  The special occasion was thought to be his retirement from international cricket.

Following that match, Gayle turned down the selection to an ODI series against India, after insisting that he needed some time off to figure out his future.  Since then, however, Gayle has had a complete reversal of thought when it comes to the idea of retirement. 

The big left-hander recently showed that he remains capable of producing plenty of fireworks, after an outstanding season in the Indian Premier League (IPL).  After being left on the bench at the start of the tournament, the insertion of Gayle into the line-up fueled an impressive run for Kings XI Punjab who narrowly missed out on making the playoffs.  During the tournament, Gayle became the first player to reach 1000 T20 sixes. 

Having found himself in that type of form, retirement is understandably now the furthest thing from the batsman’s mind and he is ready to take that kind of form into international cricket.

“I’m enjoying my cricket, to be honest with you.  I just recently played the IPL in Dubai and did well.  Now I have the T10, honestly, I’ve been feeling good, I’ve been putting in some work,” Gayle said.

The player admits that he already has one eye on the ICC T20 Championships, which will be held in November of this year.

“I’m just getting myself in condition.  I still have a lot of cricket to play.  I’m looking forward to the World Cup and hopefully giving the West Indies another T20 title.”

Gayle has not played in a T20 international since March of last year but intends to be part of the squad in lead up matches to the tournament.

 

Big-hitting West Indies stars Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard were both named as part of the ICC T20I Team of the Decade.

While the majority of his exploits in the game’s shortest format have occurred in the league format, Gayle has also made his presence felt on the international stage.  The towering left-hander played a crucial role in the West Indies winning two T20 world titles, first in 2012 and then again in 2016.

In addition, Gayle is fifth on the all-time list for the most T20I sixes with 105 registered so far.  India's Rohit Sharma is at the top of the pile with 127.  The player is fourth on the list of highest scores, with 117 off 57 balls, and is one of only nine players to score more than one century in T20I cricket.

Pollard, the West Indies T20 captain, was part of the successful World Cup-winning team in 2012.  He has scored a total of 1226 runs and has blasted 78 sixes with a highest score of 75 unbeaten.  Gayle and Pollard were the only West Indian men named to an ICC team of the decade

 

ICC T20 team of the decade

Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni (c), Kieron Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, and Lasith Malinga.

Kings XI Punjab co-owner, Ness Wadia, has made it clear that he believes West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle should start from ball one next season, as analysis surrounding the team’s unsuccessful campaign continues to unfold.

Kings XI narrowly missed out on securing an Indian Premier League (IPL) playoff spot after finishing 6th in the overall standings.  The team, however, got plenty of plaudits for an improbable run, which saw it win five games in a row after getting off to a 1-6 start.

Kings XI’s rapid ascent from the bottom of the table was fueled by the re-introduction of Gayle into the line-up.  The West Indian had been left on the bench for the first seven games of the season.  He was not picked for the first five, with a bout of food poisoning ruling him out for the next two.  Gayle fired immediately once he was inserted into the line-up, ending with 288 runs at an average of 44.14 and a high score of 99.

“The team management did what it thought was best for the team.  It is important to back experienced players and Gayle has demonstrated that he should play every game next season,” Wadia told the Press Trust of India (PTI).

The owner also had high praise for team captain and leading scorer KL Rahul, suggesting that some of Kings XI’s struggles could be based on the fact that it is a newly assembled unit.

“It’s a new captain, new team with lots of fresh faces, sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn’t.  The auction is coming up soon and we would be looking to plug gaps in the middle order and our bowling,” Wadia said.

“K L has been with is for three years and there was a reason we went after him so aggressively.  He has proved us right.”

 

 

 

Chris Gayle has withdrawn from the 2020 edition of the Lanka Premier League.

He was signed by the Kandy Tuskers for the 2020 season.

Gayle, who scored 288 runs in the recently concluded IPL despite playing only seven matches, has cited injury as the reason for his decision not to participate. The self-styled Universe Boss scored three half centuries including a top score of 99 against the Rajasthan Royals on October 30 and averaged 41.44.

He hit 15 fours and 23 sixes.

Last month, Andre Russell, who plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, withdrew from the LPL also citing injury.

The first match of the 2020 LPL is set to bowl off on November 26.

Former India opener turned cricket analyst, Aakash Chopra, believes Kings XI Punjab could greatly improve its fortunes for the next Indian Premier League (IPL) season by resigning Windies T20 talisman Chris Gayle and dropping pace bowler Sheldon Cottrell.

Kings XI finished a disappointing 6th place in the final IPL standings, after missing out on a spot in the playoffs.  A good portion of the team’s season had, however, focused on a five-game winning streak, which had put them in unlikely contention for the final four after a 1-7 start.

The man at the centre of the winning streak, Gayle, had spent the early days of the competition sitting on the bench, while Australian Glenn Maxwell, who had huge expectations placed on him heading into the season, continued to disappoint.

He wasn’t alone, however, as Gayle’s international teammate Cottrell also failed to live up to expectations after commanding a whopping INR 8.5 crore ($US1,156,239) at the auction.  In the end, Cottrell ended the competition with six wickets in six matches at an economy rate of 8.80.  Chopra believes, ahead of the next campaign, several changes should be considered

"Kings XI Punjab have a reasonable need of a mega auction because they need changes. They have to do something for the fast bowling unit because it will not work out with the ones they have," Chopra said in his review of the season.

"They should leave out Sheldon Cottrell, they should leave Hardus Viljoen also if they are not playing him, and they should leave Maxwell as well," Chopra added.

"They can keep Gayle if he wants to play although he is 41-years old. But the IPL is just a few months away and he was not expensive as well. So they can keep him as he is an X-factor and an intimidating factor," Chopra continued.

The pundit, however, believed the team would have to weigh its options more carefully if there is an IPL mega auction next year, in which case retaining Gayle may not be a good idea.

 

I use my Sundays to look back at what has been happening in the world of sport. On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week through different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT.

 Cricketers are feeling the brunt of Covid 19!

 Steven Smith revealed he has no plans to participate in the Big Bash this summer due to the demands of being in a bio-secure bubble. The likes of David Warner, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are also expected to follow suit. In Starc’s case, he has only been at his home in Sydney for 30 hours since August even though he did not go to the Indian Premier League.

Windies captain Jason Holder has voiced his personal struggles dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. The 28-year-old Barbadian, who is currently playing in the IPL, revealed there were players in his West Indies team who were mentally "worn out" by the effort involved in playing the Test series against England in the COVID-19 era. The Windies lost the series 2-1 at Old Trafford.

Despite being happy to play the sport he loves in uncertain times, Holder, speaking at the end of the third Test, said: "It's been challenging, it's been really challenging. Mentally some of the guys are a bit worn out.

"It could be this way for a little while so we've got to find ways to make it work. Hopefully things could ease up throughout the world and probably guys can get out of the hotel a little bit more, but it has been challenging for sure.

“It's tough to constantly get up, you're here, you open your curtains and you just see the cricket ground. You're not hopping on the bus as you normally do."

   As much as our cricketers are happy to play the sport they love one must not ignore that these are uncertain times and their mental health may be affected.

 Windies star Gayle still a threat!

West Indies hard hitter Chris Gayle at the age the of 41 has been proving in the ongoing Indian Premier League that he still has what it takes. The Universe boss, who has been lighting up the T20 tournament in Abu Dhabi, currently holds the IPL record for most sixes hit.

This past week, the Kings XI Punjab batsman was fined 10 per cent of his match-fee for breaching the IPL’s Code of Conduct during his team’s match against Rajasthan Royals when he was bowled for 99. Gayle lost his cool and swung his bat which flew towards mid-wicket. Despite this unfortunate event, the ‘Universe boss’ wrote his name yet again into the history books becoming the first player to smash 1,000 T20 sixes.

 

 

 

 

 

West Indies and Kings XI Punjab star Chris Gayle has been fined 10 percent of his match fee after breaching the IPL Code of Conduct during Friday’s loss at Rajasthan Royals.

The IPL’s release did not specify the nature of the offense but it in all likelihood it was due to an outburst of anger the player displayed after being dismissed during the match.  Gayle admitted to the Level 1 offence 2.2 of the IPL's Code of Conduct and accepted the sanction.

The release read: "Chris Gayle, the Kings XI Punjab batsman, has been fined 10 percent of his match-fee for breaching the Dream 11 Indian Premier League's (IPL) Code of Conduct during his team's match against Rajasthan Royals at Abu Dhabi."

Gayle smashed a whirlwind 99 from 63 balls, on a historic day that also included the batsman being the first player to get to 1000 T20 sixes.  His crowning moment was somewhat ruined by another West Indian, England bowler Jofra Archer, who dismissed the batsman with the very next ball.

An irate Gayle, who narrowly missed out on scoring a 7th IPL century, swung his bat in frustration before congratulating Archer and leaving the pitch.  He became the only player in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to miss a century by a single run on two occasions.

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