Birmingham: West Indies opener Adrian Barath has said "it's great" that Chris Gayle is returning to the one-day squad -- even if the recall has come, in part, at his expense. Former captain Gayle has been selected for the three-match one-day series against England later this month after a 14-month dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
The 32-year-old dynamic opening batsman, with a West Indies record 19 hundreds in 228 ODIs to his name, has not played international cricket since a defeat by Pakistan in the quarter-finals of the World Cup in March last year. A month later, Jamaica left-hander Gayle, one of the world's most ferocious hitters and a dazzlingly quick run-getter when in form, criticised the WICB and team coach Ottis Gibson after being left out of a squad for a one-day series against Pakistan.
However several meetings between the WICB and Gayle, brokered by senior Caribbean politicians, have ended the stand-off.
Both Barath and Kieran Powell, who have struggled against England in a Test series where the West Indies are 2-0 down heading into the third and final match starting at Edgbaston here on Thursday, have been left out of the one-day squad. But, sportingly, Barath said on Tuesday: "We always welcome players into the set-up. He's been in the set-up for years and everyone has respect for Chris.
"It's great to have him back and he'll lend experience to our players," added the 22-year-old Trinidad batsman, who in 14 one-dayers has scored one hundred. We're looking forward to having him in the set-up and everyone will learn from him."
"Having Chris in our team (makes it) a really solid team. The depth in our batting - with Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, the Bravos (Dwayne and Darren), Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell - once we get going in the powerplay it would be difficult to say how could we not chase a big score or set one. So once we get it right, we have a good ODI team and we're working on getting there in Tests, also."
The one-day series starts at Southampton on June 16 before further matches at The Oval on June 19 and Headingley on June 22 are followed by a stand-alone Twenty20 international at Trent Bridge on June 24.