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    Gayle signs agreement with WICB with IPL rider

    Kingston: Explosive opening batsman Chris Gayle has signed an agreement with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) with a rider that he is honour-bound to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the English Friends Provident Twenty20 league this season, making it difficult for his return to international cricket.

    It was revealed on Sunday that Gayle had signed the agreement, brokered by Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM), with the WICB a couple of weeks ago in a bid to resolve his long-drawn-out impasse with the regional body, reports Jamaican daily The Gleaner.

    "The Board was advised that Mr Chris Gayle has signed the CARICOM-brokered agreement, but with a 'side letter' from Mr Gayle," the WICB said in a release on Sunday.

    "Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr Ralph Gonsalves, provided a copy of Mr Gayle's 'side letter'. The matter was discussed and the Board will respond to the Honourable Prime Minister shortly," it said.

    It now transpires that Gayle's return to the West Indies team to play in the series against Australia is hitched to his contractual obligation with the Indian Premier League (IPL) club, Royal Challengers Bangalore and English county club Somerset.

    After guiding Royal Challengers to the final of the IPL last season, the 32-year-old Jamaican signed a new deal to play in this year's edition. He has also inked a one-year deal with Somerset to play in the Friends Provident League.

    The IPL will be held from April 4 - May 27 and the Friends Provident Twenty20 from June 12 - Aug 25.