Chris Gayle will make his first appearance in West Indies colours in 15 months when his side face England (8/13 To Win Series) in the first match of the ODI Series at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Gayle last featured for the West Indies last march during the World Cup and was set to be part of the 15-man ODI squad last year but fell out with the WICB and subsequently didn't feature in the intervening period.
Whilst Gayle (5/2 To Get A Century In The Series) has been quiet with regards to his return, teammate Kieron Pollard has spoken of the team's excitement at the prospect of his return. Speaking on Gayle's return, Pollard commented: "Obviously it is a boost. Chris is a world-class. He has proven himself over the years, I am a youngster and have seen Chris on television and I get the opportunity to play alongside him in the same team. It is fantastic. He has been out for a while so he will be hungry to go out there and perform."
Gayle (11/5 Top WI Series Bat) has been in fine form in the shortest form of the game, finishing top series bat in the last two renewals of the IPL, something Pollard believes will serve only as a boost to their nations fortunes: He has been doing well in IPL and all over, it is now a matter of transforming it to West Indies (5/4 To win The Series) cricket. And I am sure he is willing and ready to do that so hopefully we can go out there as a team and do well."
The retirement of Kevin Pietersen has been a talking point amongst the media and fans alike, but one person set to benefit is Ian Bell. Bell (9/2 Top England Series Bat) has been recalled to feature in the England squad following a 9 month absence in part due to Pietersen's retirement but also thanks to his fine form with the bat this season for England and indeed Warwickshire. A 76 not out at Edgbaston against the West Indies was preceded by two half centuries at Lord's and a 120 for Warwickshire in the Championship.