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Injury worries for Gayle as Test looms
MUMBAI—West Indies batsman Chris Gayle was expected to consult a specialist in Germany about a troublesome back problem, as he races to be fit ahead of his 100th Test in his hometown Jamaica next month. The left-hander struggled throughout the recent Indian Premier League, managing just 196 runs at an average of 21 and a highest score of 46, and says he needs to get the injury issue resolved. “It was tough. It (injury) happened just before IPL at the end of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. It became even worse later. I thought it was a simple thing when I went back and then when I started training in UAE it became difficult bending and sprinting between wickets. It was a problem, but I tried my best and missed first four games,” the 34-year-old opener said at the launch of his own shoe brand, CG.
“I am just trying to get this injury sorted out. Even now I am struggling. I could not move too much, bend too much. I am going to Germany … to see a specialist to resolve this issue, to try and get fit now.” If Gayle is fit for selection for the opening Test against New Zealand starting June 8 at Sabina Park, he will become only the ninth West Indies player to suit up in 100 Tests. He is also 67 runs short of becoming the eighth West Indies batsman to pass 7,000 runs in Test cricket. “One hundredth Test will mean a lot to me. I first played for West Indies 13 years ago and I am going on to my 14th year to get to the milestone. I should have got past this a long time ago but for injuries. But these things happen. You pick up injuries as a cricketer,” Gayle said.
“I am still injured and I am trying to sort it out so that I can be fully fit for that special occasion. It’s a big task and a big occasion for me and for people back home. I have my fingers crossed and hopefully I will be back on the field as quickly as possible.”
Gayle has been picked in a 15-man training squad which is currently in camp in Barbados. He, along with fellow IPL star Sunil Narine, is scheduled to join the camp next Sunday. The camp ends June 4. West Indies face New Zealand in three Tests, with the second scheduled for Trinidad and Tobago from June 16-20 and the final one carded for Guyana from June 26-30. CMC