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Gayle to meet WICB to end conflict

Associated Press
Mar 20, 2012 at 11:58am IST

Kingstown: Chris Gayle is set to meet with the West Indies Cricket Board and head coach Ottis Gibson in an attempt to end the impasse that has kept the big-hitting batsman out of the national team for nearly a year.

Sources say the meeting involving the former West Indies captain at an undisclosed time and place has been facilitated by the Prime Minister of St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, and other Caribbean heads of state.

Jamaica Cricket Association secretary Fritz Harris confirmed the talks in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper.

Gayle to meet WICB to end conflict

Gayle last played for the West Indies in March 2011, during the World Cup.

"A meeting has been arranged between Gayle, the WICB and a few heads of government in a bid to arrive at an amicable solution that could result in Gayle returning to the team," Harris said.

The 32-year-old Gayle's last match for West Indies was the World Cup quarterfinal on March 23, 2011.

The WICB precluded the Jamaican from selection following his remarks in a radio interview last April. After being omitted from the series against Pakistan last April due to fitness concerns, he accused the WICB of "using the fitness thing to threaten players."

Gayle also called coach Gibson "a user" in the interview and blamed him for undermining him in a later statement. He was also highly critical of WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire, accusing him of trying to end his career.

Since then, the WICB has said Gayle would only be considered for selection if he apologized or retracted his statements. He has refused, stating last July that "if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."

In October, the WICB issued a statement reaffirming its stance that Gayle wouldn't be considered for selection until he "withdraws his comments with regard to the board and its officers."

Gayle then accused the WICB of "playing mind games" and asked what exactly he had to retract or apologize for.

While the issue has dragged on, Gayle has been prolific in Twenty20 events across the world. He has played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in India, Matabeleland Tuskers in Zimbabwe, Sydney Thunder in Australia and Barisal Burners in Bangladesh.

Gayle has played 91 Tests, 228 one-day internationals and 20 Twenty20 matches for West Indies since his debut in 1999.

He watched from the stands on Sunday as West Indies defeated Australia to level the five-match, one-day series at 1-1.

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