JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AFP) — Star West Indies batsman Chris Gayle said yesterday that he was hopeful a tour to South Africa would go ahead despite a pay dispute.
The West Indies cut short a tour to India last month, refusing to play the last of five One-Day Internationals (ODIs), a Twenty20 (T20) match, and three Tests over a cash row between players and officials.
There have been fears in South Africa that the West Indies would not come this December, or that officials would have to send a second-string side shorn of crowd-pullers like Gayle.
“Hopefully the dispute can be resolved and we will play against South Africa,” Gayle said as he helped the Highveld Lions win a South African T20 Challenge first-round match in Johannesburg.
“The current situation between players and officials in the West Indies is unfortunate, but these disputes do happen occasionally.
“Talks are taking place to try and resolve the issue and I would love the South Africa tour to go ahead,” the 35-year-old run machine said.
The West Indies are scheduled to play three Tests, three T20 games and five ODIs during December and January in the only tour South Africa will host before the World Cup.
Gayle starred with bat and ball as the Lions defeated the Durban-based Dolphins by six wickets in the final game of a triple-header at the Wanderers stadium.
He took 4-36 in a four-over spell that included eight dot balls before hitting six fours and two sixes when making 56 off 38 balls in 64 minutes.
Kieron Pollard was another West Indies ‘import’ to impress, scoring an unbeaten 72 and taking 3-22 to give the Cobras a 14-run victory over the Titans.