The exclusion of Chris Gayle from the single T20 match and the first two ODIs has raised many eyebrows at the West Indies Cricket Board's decision, especially after the Jamaican's thunderous form in the Indian Premier League.
While media speculation had earlier hinted that Gayle might make the cut and play in the series against India beginning June 4, the West Indies Board (WICB) in a release said that the decision to keep him out was made in the light of his recent comments. Gayle had previously lashed out against his board saying that he had been made to pay his medical bills and for a generally ignorant attitude towards his injury. The south-paw even made his disappointment public at not being considered for the home-series against Pakistan.
WICB on it's part has clarified that Gayle will only be considered for national duty after an intended meeting with the player, which will also have the selection committee, the WICB management and the West Indies Team Management.
Meanwhile the press in the Caribbean has been highlighting his omission with fervour. The Jamaican Observer's headline screamed "Gayle shunned! - No room for batsman in ODI squad to face India," while Barbados' Nation News said in an article that he may miss out on the entire series as well.
Local Jamaicans are not too pleased with the decision and have been making their opinions public. "Wel, i think i now see the strategy of the WICB. We not selecting teams to win anymore....We just selecting," was a user comment on the website of a local newspaper. Other decision too were questioned and termed as a ploy to fill seats. "As much as I like Bravo and Pollard, this seems set to bring fill seats at the Oval. Who's going to make the runs against the WC holders?" asked a surfer on the same web-site. Both Dwayne Bravo and Keiron Pollard (both from Trinidad and Tobago) have been included in the squad for the matches to be played at the Port of Spain.