SOMERSET, England (CMC) — West Indies opener Chris Gayle has agreed on a short-term deal with Somerset to play in this year’s NatWest T20 Blast, officials have announced.
Gayle, Somerset’s most high-profile signing to date, could play as many as six games in a three-week period in May and June.
He will arrive at Somerset after his IPL stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is over on May 22, if RCB do not make the knockout stages.
“I’m excited about joining Somerset for the NatWest T20 Blast this year,” said Gayle, one of the most feared batsman in the T20 format.
“Many of the club’s members and supporters will know that I came close to playing for the county in 2012 and I have always felt that, if I was able to, I wanted to honour that commitment to Somerset.”
Gayle has been battling a back injury, which has ruled him out of West Indies’ Test series against England next month.
West Indies were eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup, giving Gayle a couple of weeks’ rest before the IPL, which will be followed by his Somerset spell and then the Caribbean Premier League with the Jamaica Tallawahs.
“Signing a world-class player of the quality of Chris Gayle is tremendously exciting for the club,” said Somerset’s director of cricket, Matt Maynard.
“He will be a tremendous addition to our already extremely strong squad. He is an inspirational character and we are delighted to be bringing him to Somerset.”
Gayle has hit the fastest T20 ton — off 30 balls and last month became the first player to score a World Cup double-hundred.
Overall, he has made 13 T20 hundreds, more than twice as many as the next player on the list, David Warner.