Windies skipper Gayle lifts strike threat

Updated: 03 April 2009 17:09 IST

West Indies captain Chris Gayle said that his side has decided against strike action during the final One-Day International against England in St Lucia.

Windies skipper Gayle lifts strike threat

Gros Islet (St Lucia):

West Indies captain Chris Gayle said that his side has decided against strike action during the final One-Day International against England in St Lucia on Friday.

Gayle said the West Indies Players' Association and the West Indies Cricket Board had come to an agreement that would allow the match to take place, but the two sides were still negotiating.

"They are having discussions at the moment, but we will be playing this match," Gayle told reporters. "Based on what we've heard, things seem to be breaking down properly and hopefully it will all finish off well.

"There's a possibility things won't finish (on Thursday), but at least we're getting somewhere so basically we've agreed to play on Friday. I said before, if I wasn't going to be playing in the game I wouldn't be here in St. Lucia, I'd be at home."

Gayle had raised the threat level on the eve of the fourth ODI in Barbados last Saturday in protest to a contract and pay dispute with the WICB.

But sufficient progress appears to have been made to allow him and his teammates to prepare for the series decider against Andrew Strauss's men.

"We're totally focused even though a lot of things have been happening off the field," Gayle said.

"We're here to play cricket. Hopefully, we can finish off on a high. Friday is a very important game for us and we believe we can get the job done," Gayle said.

The series is set for a thrilling conclusion, after England won the fourth ODI by nine wickets under the Duckworth-Lewis Method at Kensington Oval in Barbados on Sunday.

England won the opening match at the Guyana National Stadium, when West Indies accepted bad light thinking they were ahead on the D/L tables.

But the home team recovered from the miscalculation by coach John Dyson to win the second match by 21 runs, and then took the rain-shortened third match in Barbados last Friday by eight wickets under the D/L Method.

Strauss believes his side can clinch their first-ever ODI series victory in the Caribbean, and feels a win would be the ideal way to end their winter of discontent.

"We've put in a huge amount of work off the field over the last 10 weeks," he said.

"But you want to see rewards for that hard work you put in. At the end of the day, we'll be judged not on how well we've done in our training sessions but how well we've done on the pitch. That's why this game is very, very important for us."

Topics : Cricket
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