Because of New Zealand Cricket's embargo it's difficult to predict a team but you can definitely rule out Chris Gayle's name cropping up in the Central Districts Stags' line up this summer.

CD chief executive Pete de Wet yesterday said there was no truth in any media speculation that the major association would be hiring the services of the West Indian master blaster for the Burger King Super Smash Twenty20 campaign.

"There's no truth to the rumour," De Wet said. "If I had the funds available, I would potentially look at an international player. If Gayle was available he would be one of them we'd look at, but he's certainly not coming to play for CD and we have no intentions of signing him."

He said when CD contemplated offering an overseas player a contract it was not something factored into its budget.


When Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene was signed up for two T20 summers, he had the backing of Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology as its brand ambassador.

"That's generally how we fund these things. I don't have the means to sit down at the beginning of the year to say I've got X number of dollars that I can put towards getting an international player.

"You know, I'd love to get Kevin Pietersen but we just don't have the money."

Speculation also was rife in the summer of 2012-13 that a New Plymouth businessman was prepared to meet the contractural costs of luring Gayle from his then Sydney Thunder franchise in the Big Bash T20 equivalent in Australia amid claims the West Indian cricket board was against any such moves.

The West Indies opener blasted 146 off 69 balls this week as the Rangpur Riders claimed the Bangladesh Premier League crown.

De Wet echoed the sentiments of incumbent CD coach Heinrich Malan that no imports would be signed up in the glitz-and-glamour format of the domestic competition.

"I just can't see the money falling out of the sky."

He said the Stags had a squad with "a fair amount of depth" that could go out to do the job on any given Sunday.


The William Young-captained Stags host the Canterbury Kings tomorrow at Saxton Oval, Nelson, in round two of matches.

The Kings have the marquee signing of English international Ben Stokes.

The allrounder smashed 93 off 47 balls as the Kings claimed the largest victory in Super Smash history in the 134-run victory over the Otago Volts at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, on Thursday.

CD, who lost their opening game to the Auckland Aces by five wickets at Eden Park outer oval on Wednesday, will be without recalled Black Caps allrounder Doug Bracewell, fast bowler Adam Milne and opening batsman George Worker.

Malan said he was not able to release names of players coming into the equation because of the NZ Cricket embargo.

However, he confirmed two players would be named to the squad of 11.

"At the end of the day our depth gets tested very early in the white-ball campaign but, luckily, this time it isn't through injury but through selection for higher honours so that's quite exciting."

Openers Jesse Ryder and Worker had provided a decent platform with 54 runs and 40, respectively, but others didn't go on although No 5 Bracewell came close with 32 runs and wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver was unbeaten on 19 at No 6.

It pleased Malan that CD batsmen were able to find the boundaries quite comfortably.

"We just need to be a little smarter in the way we bat in our full innings," he said, adding it was imperative the Stags rotated the strike because T20 cricket wasn't just about finding the boundaries.

The South African coach felt the CD bowling department also was one dimensional.

"We have experienced white-ball bowlers so we need to adapt quicker and be a lot smarter," he said, adding there was a bit of excitement around incorporating those facets into their collective skills.

Black Caps seamer Seth Rance had returned from an injury layoff and found himself at the deep end on a small ground.

"Ben Stokes is the kind of guy who can change a game in a couple of balls in a couple of overs so we have to make sure whoever has the ball in hand executes that properly."

Spinner Ajaz Patel was 12th man but it was a "horses for courses" decision with Worker and Tom Bruce spinning to allow for five pacemen. The red-ball spin king should be back on Saxton Park tomorrow.

Malan said they were toying with pushing Cleaver up the order after his successful Ford Trophy experiment.

The hunger for victory tomorrow was no different to the first game or other impending ones.

CD's blueprint, he said, was transparent and players' attitude reflected that.


CD STAGS: Jesse Ryder, William Young (c), Tom Bruce, Doug Bracewell, Dane Cleaver (wk), Joshua Clarkson, Ben Wheeler, Adam Milne, Seth Rance, Blair Tickner, Ajaz Patel.

CANTERBURY KINGS: Nick Kwant, Chad Bowes, Matthew Pollard, Ben Stokes, Cole McConchie, Andrew Ellis (c), Cameron Fletcher (wk), Todd Astle, Matt Henry, Tim Johnston, William Williams, Jeremy Benton.

Note: With NZ Cricket imposing embargos until midday on match days both teams may differ in composition.