PM’s XI batsman Brad Haddin leaves the field after getting out for 39.Chris Gayle was a late scratching from the West Indies’ first match of their Australian tour, but still managed to get up close and personal with Brad Haddin in the middle of Manuka Oval.
What was going to be their first meeting since their memorable on-field and Twitter stoush in the Big Bash League last month didn’t eventuate, with Gayle sitting out most of the game against the Prime Minister’s XI for the inaugural day-night game at Manuka Oval.
A West Indies team spokesman said Gayle had a slight stiffness in his back due to the long flight from the Caribbean.
However, the hard-hitting opening batsman is expected to play in the opening game of the five-match ODI series with Australia in Perth on Friday.
Gayle spent time in the Manuka Oval nets on Monday and Tuesday and managed to get out on the ground while Haddin was at the crease during his entertaining innings of 39 from 28 balls.
Gayle went straight to short cover and caught Haddin’s attention several times, the pair appearing to exchange a friendly few words while Haddin was at the non-striker’s end.
The West Indian opener will play a crucial role if the reigning Twenty20 world champions are to upset an Australian side coming off a 2-2 series draw with Sri Lanka.
Haddin could yet play a part if selectors decide to give Matthew Wade a rest, as they did in the opening two games of the Sri Lanka series.
That would set up a rematch with Gayle for the first time since the Sydney Sixers captain took offence to Gayle wildly celebrating taking his wicket last month.
Gayle, who scored only one half century for the Sydney Thunder, beat his chest and broke into his trademark Gangnam Style dance when he dismissed the veteran wicketkeeper.
Haddin pointed his bat in Gayle’s direction as he left the ground before venting his frustration to Fox Sports.
”He’s been all talk so far this tournament and they haven’t won a game,” Haddin said.
”At least Thunder fans have seen Chris Gayle do something for his money.”
Gayle responded on Twitter, claiming he could bat better than Haddin with his non-preferred right hand.
The 33-year-old, renowned as one of the most destructive batsmen in the world cricket, hinted earlier this month he had a score to settle with Haddin.
”We’ll see him in the future and maybe in international cricket we might meet again,” Gayle said.
”We’ll see what happens then.”
The Canberra crowd arrived hoping to see Gayle deliver another magnificent innings after his amazing knock during his most recent visit to the national capital.
Gayle hammered 146 from just 89 balls, including eight massive sixes, in the corresponding match with the PM’s XI three years ago.
The match had a special feeling for Haddin, the Queanbeyan product who had previously played for the Canberra Comets.
Haddin was due to captain the PM’s XI last year only for the game against Sri Lanka to be washed out without a ball being bowled.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.