Gayle set to replace injured Nannes

Royal Challengers Bangalore has roped in West Indian all-rounder Chris Gayle as replacement for their injured paceman Dirk Nannes. The swashbuckling opener and off-spinner landed in the city on Tuesday and it is learnt that his involvement in Indian Premier League 4 is subject to the final permission from BCCI. Australia's Nannes, who suffered a side strain during the home match against Mumbai Indians last week, has already flown back home as his recovery period is around five weeks.

Gayle, who shockingly went unsold in the IPL auction, had carried a base price of $400,000, the highest set in the auction and the 31-year-old was eligible as a replacement for Nannes who was bought by the Bangalore franchisee for $650,000. IPL CEO Sundar Raman definite that the "a player can be replaced to the value he is bought for", which makes the Gayle-for-Nannes deal well within the rule book. Interestingly, Nannes was grouped in the third tier at the auction, with a base price of $200,000.

Gayle's failure to attract any of the franchisees in the auction had raised eyebrows though the similar fate of former India captain Sourav Ganguly invited more media attention. On pure cricketing, more so T20 terms, Gayle is an active international cricketer known for his destructive batting. Further he can chip in with his off-cutters and is a good fielder too.

The West Indian, who was controversially expelled for the opening two ODIs in the home series against Pakistan, was caught in a Catch-22 situation after the IPL auction fiasco as he had already declined a payment contract with the West Indies Cricket Board. But the fresh invite has come as manna from heaven for Gayle. Also, Gayle, like Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, can afford to skip the series, even totally, as he doesn't hold a contract with WICB.


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