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Gayle back for NatWest Series

NatWest International T20

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West Indies have recalled former captain Chris Gayle after a 14-month absence to take part in this month's NatWest Series against England.

Gayle has returned to the squad after his dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board led to the 32-year-old opening batsman missing over a year of international cricket.

He is back for three one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international, the first of which is on June 16 at the Ageas Bowl when Gayle is line to play his first game for the Windies since they lost to Pakistan in the quarter-finals of the World Cup during March 2011.

Gayle criticised the board and current coach Ottis Gibson after being left out of a one-day series against Pakistan a month later. But meetings between Gayle and the WICB earlier this year have smoothed the path for his return.

Chris Gayle & Umar Gul

Opening batsman Chris Gayle last played for West Indies in the World Cup quarter-final defeat to Pakistan during March last year

Clyde Butts, chairman of the selection panel, said: “Chris is a player of proven quality and we are looking forward to him adding this dimension to the side and his contributions as a senior member of the squad.”

Gayle, who reneged on a Friends Life t20 contract with Somerset last month to make himself available, joins a squad led by Test skipper Darren Sammy, who has Dwayne Bravo as his vice-captain.

Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and Dwayne Smith are also named in the party and opening batsman Lendl Simmons is included.

There is also a place for spinner Sunil Narine, who made a major impression during the recent Indian Premier League.

Opening batsmen Adrian Barath and Kieron Powell, who have struggled in the first two Investec Tests in the series against England, have been left out.

Test wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin comes in to replace Carlton Baugh.

Butts added: “We are now beginning to move into the next phase of the development of the team as we continue to build our ODI side as we continue to plan for the 2015 World Cup.

“A number of players who we have been exposed to international cricket and who, by their recent performances, have shown that they can play roles in the team have been retained.

“There is, what we believe, is a balanced combination of young rising players like Sunil Narine in the bowling department and Johnson Charles in the top order of the batting in addition to the well known seasoned internationals.”

West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Dwayne Bravo (vice-captain), Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.

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