T20 blow for Gayle
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CMC):
Jamaican batting superstar Chris Gayle is among seven West Indies players left in the lurch following yesterday's shock announcement of the postponement of South Africa's inaugural Twenty20 Global League.
Gayle, along with Dwayne Bravo, Chris Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Denesh Ramdin, Nicholas Pooran and Rayad Emrit, was down to participate in the tournament scheduled to bowl off early November.
Barbados-born England all-rounder Chris Jordan was also expected to suit up.
Gayle was expected to feature for Cape Town Knight Riders alongside Ramdin, with Pooran turning out for Joburg Giants and Bravo for Pretoria Mavericks.
"We have not come to this decision lightly," Cricket South Africa's acting CEO, Thabang Moroe, said following a meeting with the T20 Global League board and consultation with franchise owners.
"Having discussed it with all our stakeholders, including the franchise owners, we believe that the interest of the league should be our first priority.
"We have reassessed our strategy and believe that postponing the first edition of the T20 Global League to next year will serve us well."
While organisers gave no reason for the postponement, it is understood that the failure to secure a viable television broadcast deal and central rights sponsorship was behind the decision.
The build-up to the tournament had also been less than smooth, and the resignation of CEO Haroon Lorgat two weeks ago further complicated matters.
The tournament will now be held next year, and Moroe said they expected it to be a success.
"We will regroup and come back stronger and better," he said.
"We appreciate the continued support of the individuals and organisations who have believed in this tournament."
Pollard had been named last week to captain Bloem City Blazers, who are coached by former West Indies head coach, Phil Simmons, and includes Smith, Emrit and Jordan.