Chris Gayle declines selection for West Indies' ODI series against India

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Gayle will not feature in West Indies' tour of India.

West Indies stalwart Chris Gayle has declined to make himself available for selection for the side’s upcoming ODI series against India.

The explosive opening batsman has also made himself unavailable for West Indies’ subsequent tour of Bangladesh. The 39-year-old, however, will be available for selection for West Indies’ home series against England as well as the 2019 ICC World Cup next year.

Gayle called time on his first-class career on Saturday with a match-winning century for Jamaica in his swansong.

While Gayle’s services will be missed by the Caribbean outfit in the ODI series against India, Kieron Pollard and Darren Bravo have made a return to the T20I squad.

Both the players have had contract disagreements with Cricket West Indies in the past but have been welcomed back to the squad after a period in the cold. Pollard has not played a T20 for West Indies since September last year while Bravo’s last appearance in the format came all the way back in 2014.

The visitors will also have to make do without the services of star all-rounder Andre Russell for the ODI series due to an injury. Russell, though, has been included in the squad for the three T20s.

The Windies board plan to use the T20 series against India as a preparation board for the ICC World Twenty20 in 2020 with several young faces included in the squad.

“With the 2020 ICC World T20 two years away and the limited amount of T20 Internationals within the next year, the panel believes at this juncture it is time to invest in the young players that have emerged over the last two years from Windies A and B teams, along with 2018 CPL,” chairman of selection panel Courtney Browne said during the squad announcement.

Following the completion of the ongoing two-Test series between India and the West Indies, the two sides will clash in five ODIs before playing three T20s.

Jason Holder will lead the Caribbean side in the ODIs while Kraigg Brathwaite will take the reins for the T20s.

WINDIES ODI SQUAD

Jason Holder (c), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Oshane Thomas

WINDIES T20 SQUAD

Carlos Brathwaite (c), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas

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Kevin Pietersen expresses concern over lack of 'superstars' in international cricket

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Kevin Pietersen (l) believes there is a lack of entertainers in cricket.

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has expressed his worries about the lack of ‘superstars’ in international cricket.

The flamboyant batsman called time on his professional career earlier this year after plying his trade in multiple T20 franchise leagues following his ouster from the England squad in 2014.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5, Pietersen believed that superstars and entertainers were becoming a dying breed in international cricket.

“I really struggle to see entertainers, they’re lacking in the game,” Pietersen said.

“But otherwise pure entertainers and superstars are not in the game and that’s a big worry,” he added while stating that India skipper Virat Kohli is the ‘stand out’ among the current generation.

The South Africa-born batsman believes that the lack of former superstars in coaching set-ups is another big worry.

“Maybe it’s a generational thing but the sad part is that quite a few of those former players are commentating but they are not in the game of cricket,” the 38-year-old said.

India's Virat Kohli is the 'stand out' player for Pietersen currently.

India’s Virat Kohli is the ‘stand out’ player for Pietersen currently.

“You want those superstars attached to franchises, national sides and academies so that youngsters get inspired to be those people,” he continued.

The right-hander has urged cricketing boards around the world to increase the financial stakes in recruiting such former international stars to their set-up.

“They (former stars) have to get paid more because the money for commentary, which is a pretty easy gig, is fairly good,” he stated.

“The boards have that money and they maybe need to get their fingers in their pockets.”

Pietersen remains one of the most successful Test batsmen to have played for England with 8,181 runs to his name from 104 matches. He is fifth in England’s all-time list of Test run-scorers.

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Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman among stars for UAE T20X mentoring roles

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Sehwag could be involved in the upcoming UAE T20X

Former India batsmen Virender Sehwag and VVS Laxman are among the legends from the subcontinent who have put themselves into the mix for mentoring roles at this year’s UAE T20x.

The coach and mentor pool, which is now 170 strong, consists of accomplished career coaches and ex-players from 16 different countries.

Sehwag and Laxman will look to act as mentors to younger players in the competition whilst Venkatesh Prasad, Robin Singh, Sanjay Bangar, Sriram Krishnamurthy and AR Srikkanth are keen to take on coaching roles.

These names sit alongside Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar, Waqar Younis, Misbah ul Haq, Abdul Razzaq, Inzamam ul Haq, Amir Sohail, Moin Khan, Saeed Ajmal and Mushtaq Ahmed who seek to pursue coaching roles, whilst Javed Miandad hopes to serve as a mentor.

Sri Lankan cricketing veteran Chaminda Vaas has also signed up to coach a UAE T20x franchise. Former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and batting maestro Tillakaratne Dilshan are expected to act as coaches in the league. These coaches and mentors will be picked by franchise owners during the draft, which is scheduled to take place in early November.

Salman Sarwar Butt, CEO of UAE T20x said: “We are extremely excited to see an ongoing flow of experienced coaches contacting us to be a part of the league. This is a clear demonstration of our commitment to attracting the biggest names in cricket to the UAE to provide emerging talent with world class coaching that will help improve the standard of our players and translate into electrifying on-field performances for the fans.”

Shahid Afridi and Kumar Sangakkara were announced as the league’s final icon players to sign up to UAE T20x. The event will run from 19 December – 11 January in Dubai and Sharjah.

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