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A Gayle force heading for Somerset

POWER HITTING: Somerset fans are likely to see Chris Gayle at his destructive best this summer

WEST STAR Chris Gayle will represent Somerset this summer. The batsman will play for the West Country outfit during this year's NatWest T20 Blast. He has agreed a short-term deal which will not hinder nhis IPL and CPL commitments. Gayle could play as many as six games in a three-week period in May and June.

Gayle will be at Somerset in late May after his IPL stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore is over. His final appearance is scheduled to be at Cardiff on June 13.

Gayle has been battling a back injury, which has ruled him out of West Indies' Test series against England in April. West Indies were eliminated at the quarter-final stage of the World Cup, giving Gayle a couple of weeks' rest before the IPL, which will be followed by his Somerset spell and then the Caribbean Premier League with the Jamaica Tallawahs.

Somerset's director of cricket, Matt Maynard, said: "Signing a world-class player of the quality of Chris Gayle is tremendously exciting for the club. He will be a tremendous addition to our already extremely strong squad. He is an inspirational character and we are delighted to be bringing him to Somerset.

"We have a number of overseas players on the roster for the 2015 campaign and Chris' arrival and registration will give us a number of options which we will look at as we approach each competition."

Gayle previously signed for Somerset in 2012 but pulled out of the deal in order to return for West Indies. The player said:
"I'm excited about joining Somerset for the NatWest T20 Blast this year.

"Many of the club's members and supporters will know that I came close to playing for the county in 2012 and I have always felt that, if I was able to, I wanted to honour that commitment to Somerset. I'm looking forward to coming to Taunton and scoring some runs."

During the failed World Cup bid Gayle became the first player to score a World Cup double-hundred. Overall, Gayle has made 13 T20 hundreds, while averagimg 42.01 at a strike rate of 147.18.

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