By Azad Ali
Hard-hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle will be returning to domestic limited overs cricket for a second time in seven years for the Regional Super50, which bowls off next week.
The 38-year-old Jamaican has been included in the Jamaica Scorpions squad for the tournament, which will now add flavor to a campaign which has lacked quality over the years.
Gayle is the region’s premier one-day batsman, with over 9,000 runs in 275 ODIs and nearly 12,000 in List A cricket.
He last appeared in a domestic 50-over tournament in 2011, when Jamaica beat Trinidad and Tobago in the final at the Guyana National Stadium.
Gayle will be joined by explosive all-rounder Andre Russell who returns to action after serving a one-year anti-doping whereabouts ban, which had kept him out of international cricket.
Russell has missed the last three years of the tournament and like Gayle, will bring an added quality to the Scorpions who were last year’s losing finalists.
Champion off-spinner Sunil Narine will also be in this year’s competition after being named in the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in place of batsman Darren Bravo, who has been omitted from the list of players selected for Trinidad and Tobago.
West Indies one-day captain Jason Holder, along with current ODI players Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Kesrick Williams and Marlon Samuels, are all set to campaign in the tournament, as they gear up for the ICC World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe next March.