24 Jul 2012

Gayle set to return to Test cricket against New Zealand

6:06 am on 24 July 2012

Chris Gayle is set to play his first cricket Test in more than 18 months after being named in the West Indies squad for the first Test against New Zealand.

Gayle has not played Test cricket since the tour of Sri Lanka in December 2010, and he will provide a major boost to the West Indies batting line-up, which has also regained Shivnarine Chanderpaul after he missed the final Test against England due to a side strain.

The 13-man squad does not include batsman Darren Bravo, who is the West Indies second leading Test run scorer in the past year, he's still recovering from a groin strain.

The top-order batsman Assad Fudadin is included after making his Test debut in the final match of the England tour.

Sunil Narine is the only specialist spinner named in the squad and there is no room for the fast man Fidel Edwards, who was part of the Test side during the tour of England.

The first Test against New Zealand begins in Antigua on Thursday.