Gayle expected to be fit for BBL

Kingston (Jamaica), July 27 (IANS) Swashbuckling West Indies batsman Chris Gayle is expected to be fit for the beginning of the Big Bash League (BBL) season, despite his back surgery, to turn up for the Melbourne Renegades.

Gayle revealed last week that he will be going under the knife in early August, following a charity match on August 2 that he is committed to playing, and said he would return to playing “maybe in December”. BBL is Australia’s domestic Twenty20 competition.

However, Gayle’s management have confirmed the big-hitting left-hander is in fact targeting an October return to training, provided everything goes as expected with surgery and his recovery, reports on Monday.

Gayle revealed news of the surgery after the Jamaica Tallawahs were eliminated from the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) following a defeat to the eventual champions Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel in the first semifinal.

“It’s huge to sign Chris Gayle,” said Renegades skipper Aaron Finch, who is set to form a devastating partnership with Gayle at the top of the order. “He’s someone who has dominated this format over a long period of time.”

The Jamaican was in form in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) with 491 runs at an average of 40.91 for Royal Challengers Bangalore, with a top score of 117. He was also the tournament’s top six-hitter with 38. He then hit an unbeaten 151 for Somerset in England’s domestic Twenty20 competition and finished with 328 runs from three matches, hitting 29 sixes.

He was also CPL’s leading run-scorer with 430 with the tournament’s top two scores of 105 and an unbeaten 90, and 33 sixes in 10 matches.

The BBL 2015-16 starts on December 18.

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