Royal Challengers Bangalore have lined up Chris Gayle as a replacement for the injured Dirk Nannes, who is out of the remainder of the IPL with a side strain. Gayle will have to get a NOC from the West Indies Cricket Board before he can join Bangalore.
The Gayle issue is complicated because all international players require an NOC from their home board before they can play in the IPL, even if, like Gayle, they are not under contract to their Board. As of now, Gayle has informed the WICB that he is not available for the West Indies versus Pakistan series and wanted to honour his IPL contract during the same period.
It is understood however, that until Gayle's request for an NOC, the WICB was under the impression that Gayle was recovering from an injury. The board had Gayle under an injury management and recovery programme in Jamaica for an injury sustained during the World Cup. The fact that Gayle was taking part in a WICB supported recovery programme, until he made the written request is likely to further complicate the issue of whether or not he gets an NOC from the Board.
In January Gayle, who scored 463 at a strike-rate of 141.59 for Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous three IPL seasons, surprisingly went unsold at the player auction. With a base price of $400,000, he found no bidders due to concerns that he would not be available for much of IPL 2011 due to international commitments.
He has since been left out of West Indies' ODI squad (for the first two matches) that will take on Pakistan at home from April 23, with the WICB deciding to focus on grooming youngsters after the quarter-final exit from the World Cup .
Nannes, who was injured during Bangalore's second match of the league, was bought for $650,000 at the auction. IPL rules prevent franchises from signing replacement players at a higher value than the player they are replacing.
Bangalore have made a poor start to the IPL, losing three of their first four matches and are languishing at the bottom of the table.