The Caribbean is getting ready to stage its own high stakes Twenty20 tournament with the imminent start of the inaugural Caribbean Premier League (CPL) set for September and for West Indies star Chris Gayle, it cannot start soon enough. The hard-hitting Gayle has made a name for himself as a globetrotting merchant of cricketing fury, but soon, local fans will get the chance to see one of their favourites swing away in the Caribbean’s answer to the Indian Premier League. Gayle, who boasts 10 centuries and 33 half centuries, with a strike rate of 154.71, in 126 Twenty20 innings, believes that the regional competition will inject new life into the sport across the Caribbean. “The CPL is something bright for the Caribbean and I am really happy with the progress,” Gayle told Star Sports. “It’s exciting and everybody is looking forward to it and I believe it will only make our cricket better. “If you look around the world a lot of T20 cricket is being played and it’s growing and this will actually do well for West Indies cricket and will give upcoming youngsters a chance to play alongside some of the stars that will be playing in the CPL,” Gayle added. Gayle has been designated as one of six ‘Icon’ players for the tournament, which gets under way in September and will see six franchises taking part from Jamaica, Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia. “I think there is a bright future ahead,” Gayle added. “Hopefully it will kick-off well and everyone can capitalise on it and at the end of the day, if we all work together and give the people some good entertainment, we will uplift the game in the West Indies and make this a success.” Gayle was speaking at his Lucas Cricket Club, where he made a $543,000 contribution, through his foundation, to the nursery programme named in his honour. Gayle is hoping that nursery will leave a mark on the sport at the grassroots level, particularly in Lucas’ Rollington Town base. “This is a situation where we want to develop the club once more, we started well and hopefully we can continue,” said Gayle. “We just started the foundation and we are looking to grow from strength to strength.” “This is the start of a new beginning for Lucas and the Chris Gayle Foundation and hopefully a lot of hands can come together to help this foundation grow from strength to strength,” he added.
Tags Chris Gayle