LAHORE - Pakistan’s former captain Wasim Akram has expressed surprise over the omission of Chris Gayle from the West Indies team against India. “Gayle not being part of the West Indies team, I feel is baffling to the cricketing world. Judging by his recent form, he is an automatic selection. In any version of the game, he is such a dangerous and useful player,” Akram was quoted as saying by ESPN.
IPL’s orange-cap winner Gayle accumulated 608 runs in 12 matches as an opener for runners-up Bangalore in this edition. The left-handed batsman hit 2 hundreds, 3 fifties and a record 44 sixes to demoralise the opposition bowlers. Akram believes Gayle was the show-stealer of the tournament. “We have seen him in the recently concluded Indian T20 League. I mean the guy is a class act. He is a destructive batsman, a pretty safe fielder and is very handy with the ball in the shorter version,” the Kolkata bowling consultant was quoted by ESPNStar Sport.
Gayle has been at loggerheads with the WICB after the ICC Cricket World Cup. He was not selected for the series against Pakistan due to an abdominal injury. The batsman, however, claimed that he was dropped. According to Akram, there is more to it than just cricket. “There might be something very serious going on between the player and the West Indies board but that doesn’t warrant him an axe from the side. But I think it is West Indies’ loss,” opines Akram. Meanwhile, Akram is not too pleased with the media’s role in playing up the club versus country debate. Many senior Indian players have opted out of the Windies tour just after the cash-rich league and the issue has raised concerns about players’ ethics.