Somerset announced this morning that Chris Gayle will miss the club’s NatWest T20 Blast match against Glamorgan on Saturday.
The West Indian superstar’s final match will now be tomorrow night’s home sell-out clash with Surrey at the County Ground in Taunton.
The opening batsman has been a huge success so far for Somerset, scoring 328 runs for the county in just three matches, while also taking an active role off the field, including coaching local youngsters and taking part in Peter Trego’s benefit game in South Devon.
However in a statement today, the club said that “due to his immense workload over the past twelve months and a slight back issue, he has asked to be released early in order to be fully fit for the forthcoming Caribbean Premier League.”
The news will come as a big blow for the fans planning to make the journey to Cardiff on Saturday to see Gayle in action. The game is also due to be televised on Sky.
Somerset Chief Executive Guy Lavender said: “Chris has been outstanding both on and off the field for Somerset County Cricket Club. Given the amount of cricket that he has played in the last year, it is understandable that he wants to get himself back to 100% fitness. It has been an absolute pleasure to have him at the club and I am sure all members and supporters will want to thank him for his efforts.”
Gayle has intimated that he might make a return to Somerset should they reach the knockout stages of the NatWest Blast in August.
Director of Cricket Matt Maynard said: “Although slightly disappointed that Chris is unavailable for the Glamorgan game, his contribution to Somerset CCC during his stay has been immense. I would like to wish Chris all the best for the CPL and hope to see him back in Somerset colours later in the summer.”