6 May 2009

Gayle defends decision to delay arrival in England

7:08 am on 6 May 2009

Chris Gayle has defended his decision to spend only two days in England with two practice sessions before leading West Indies in the first cricket test at Lord's.

Gayle delayed his arrival until Monday after playing in the Indian Premier League in South Africa the previous day.

He says the West Indies Cricket Board gave him persmission to delay his arrival and had played big matches soon after long flights in the past.

England also lost players to the IPL, staged in South Africa this year because of security concerns in India.

Paul Collingwood, who will bat at number five behind Kevin Pietersen, did not play a single match in South Africa while Pietersen made two ducks.

Ravi Bopara, who will bat at number three for the first time for England, also played in the IPL with more success than his two middle-order companions.