West Indies allrounder Chris Gayle has signed with the Sydney Thunder for the inaugural season of the revamped Australian Twenty20 Big Bash tournament.
The club announced Thursday that Gayle, one of world’s leading T20 players, will join big—hitting opener David Warner at the Thunder, one of two Sydney—based teams in the new eight—team league.
Gayle played for Western Australia in the last two seasons of Australia’s previous T20 competition, which comprised teams from the six state associations, but he reportedly rejected an offer of A$250,000 to remain with the Perth Scorchers.
The Big Bash clubs have a salary cap of one million Australian dollars ($1.06 million) per season, with players on fixed retainers rather than match fees.
West Australia Cricket Association chief executive Graeme Wood confirmed Thursday that Perth had not been able to agree to terms with Gayle’s management team.
“We presented Chris with a very generous offer, and his management indicated that if our contract terms were near enough to the amount he was chasing then his preference was to play for the Perth Scorchers,” Wood said.
“We have invested a great deal in Chris Gayle the past two years and he has forged some great friendships here in the west.”
Perth coach Mickey Arthur said the loss of Gayle was a blow, but other leading international players were being pursued.
“There is no doubt that Chris is one of the most dangerous Twenty20 players in world cricket and it would have been great to have him on board with the Scorchers,” Arthur said. Hindu