Cricket: Gayle out with torn hamstring

By David Leggat

Chris Gayle, above, will be replaced by Kraigg Braithwaite. Photo / AP
Chris Gayle, above, will be replaced by Kraigg Braithwaite. Photo / AP

The West Indies biggest drawcard and best batsman, Chris Gayle, is out of the three-test series in New Zealand, starting on December 3.

The Jamaican left-hand opener tore a hamstring in the opening ODI against India at Kochi last Friday (NZT) and has returned home.

The hope is he will arrive in New Zealand in time for the start of the five-game ODI series, on Boxing Day at Eden Park.

Gayle will be replaced by Kraigg Braithwaite, a 20-year-old opener from Barbados, whose average from nine tests is 21. His most recent test was in April last year.

"I will always try to look at the positive and it gives an opportunity for someone else to make a name for himself," West Indies coach Ottis Gibson said of losing Gayle.

Meanwhile, Northern Districts will field six current New Zealand internationals in their Plunket Shield match against Central Districts starting at Seddon Park today.

Wicketkeeper BJ Watling, bowlers Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi, allrounder Corey Anderson and batsman Anton Devcich are in the ND lineup, along with experienced left arm spinner Dan Vettori, who is continuing his rehabilitation from injury.

Throw in former internationals Daniel Flynn and Graeme Aldridge and it leaves batsman Daryl Mitchell and Scott Kuggeleijn (both New Zealand A tourists) and opener Brad Wilson as the only non full internationals in the ND 12.

CD are without captain Kieran Noema-Barnett, who split the webbing between his right thumb and forefinger during the HRV Cup game against Wellington at the weekend, and legspinner Tarun Nethula is out with an ankle injury.

Much attention will focus on the form of CD's key batsman, Ross Taylor, who is getting over a patella tendon injury and has this game as his sole first-class warm-up for the first West Indies test.

The teams occupy the last two places on the shield table, but having played one less game than the others.

- NZ Herald

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