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West Indies delay call on Gayle fitness for WCup quarter

March 20, 2015

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — West Indies captain Jason Holder says a decision on Chris Gayle’s fitness for Saturday’s Cricket World Cup quarterfinal against New Zealand will be left to the morning of the match.

Gayle missed the final pool match against the United Arab Emirates on Sunday due to a back injury which required a pain-killing injection, and did not train with his teammates until Friday.

“Chris is out playing this morning,” Holder said Friday. “He’s had an injection, nothing major. We’ll see how he pulls up today and make a decision tomorrow morning.”

Gayle, whose 215 against Zimbabwe is the highest score at the tournament, brings the experience of 268 one-day internationals to the West Indies side.

“He’s one of the most feared batsmen in world cricket,” Holder said. “So to have Chris on my squad is a plus for anybody in a sense.

“We won the last game at without him so I can’t say we can’t win without him. He’s been a very good player for us over the years. But it’s shown that we’ve got people to fit the bill.”

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said his team had prepared for the match in anticipation of Gayle being fit to play.

“I don’t think it changes things too much because we expected him to play anyway,” McCullum said. “He’s obviously a world class player and destructive on his day.

“The West Indies team are stacked with match-winners, not just Chris but many other guys in their lineup.”

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