T20 Challenge

Gayle's debut further delayed

2012-02-28 19:51
Chris gayle (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - West Indian batsman Chris Gayle was on Tuesday ruled out for a further 10 days, delaying his debut for the Dolphins in the domestic T20 Challenge.

The 32-year-old has been sidelined with a groin injury since joining the Durban-based franchise earlier this month.

It had been hoped he would be fit to play again over the coming weekend, but that is no longer possible.

"He had a second injection today [Tuesday], it’s a placement-to-placement therapy, which is aimed at speeding up the inflammatory process - in other words it will help speed up the recovery," KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union chief executive Jesse Chellan said.

"He’s still quite stiff, so the estimate is to try and get him ready by March 9."

The coastal team would have played seven games by then, more than half of their campaign. Gayle, widely regarded as the most explosive T20 batsman in the game, sustained the injury while on duty in the Bangladesh Premier League with his side Barisal Burners.

Although Chellan was optimistic of a return against the Titans at Centurion, he conceded a lot would depend on the way the player healed.

"He’s a world-class player and we’re happy to give him all the time he needs. It’s still a way to go."

Gayle averages over 40 in 20-over cricket and also possesses a lethal strike rate of 154.88.

He was one of the two foreign signings announced by the Dolphins last year, part of a new policy by Cricket SA to allow two overseas players to represent the local franchises.

The other player signed was Shaun Tait, who withdrew earlier in the year because of injury. The Dolphins are expected to announce a replacement for the Australian paceman on Wednesday.

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