Chris Gayle is set to make an international return for the West Indies following a two-year absence.
The destructive batting star is expected to be called up to the Windies’ T20I squad for the three-match series against the visiting Sri Lankans next month.
Gayle has been in action in the Pakistan Super League with Quetta Gladiators but will have his absence filled by South African Faf du Plessis until he returns.
Cover from du Plessis was already announced before the tournament started, but not the reason why. That was finally revealed in a PCB press release following his 40-ball 68 for Quetta against Lahore this week.
It will be the first time Gayle will have represented his country since an ODI against India in 2019.
The recall under skipper Kieron Pollard is part of preparations for this year’s T20 World Cup in India, where the Windies are looking to defend the title they won in 2016.
Once he has played the last T20I, he will return to complete his PSL stint with Quetta.
Gayle Just “Blessed” to be Playing
Speaking after his last game for the Gladiators, Gayle just said he was happy to be playing the sport during the current pandemic.
He said: “Playing during this particular time is a blessing. Hopefully, things can get better in the future.
“When you look at what's happening in the world, there are no fans in the stadiums and people have to watch on television. It is something people and players look back and say we have to appreciate times when we actually had good things and not take them for granted.
“Things are tough with the world in pause. We must not take life for granted when things can open.
“We're going to try to live the best life and live it to the fullest, spend more time with family and friends and reach out to the people a lot more.”
Gayle will also continue to his own T20 World Cup preparations when he again plays for the Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League.
He only played seven games last year after missing the start of the tournament through injury. However, he still smashed 288 runs and played a big part in Punjab's late resurgence.