Sydney Thunder laps up Gayle for Big Bash

June 30th, 2011 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 30 (IANS) Big Bash team Sydney Thunder Thursday bought West Indies opener Chris Gayle. The New South Wales team spent almost half its salary cap on the explosive opening combination of Gayle and David Warner.

The two players were signed up within an hour of the opening of Big Bash contract window. Gayle was pursued by Perth Scorchers but he rejected an offer of $250,000 to stay with the West Australia team.

For the last two seasons of the now-defunct state-based Twenty20 competition, Gayle was playing for Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) and demanded more money to stay at Perth.

“I am thrilled to be able to come to Sydney and play for the Thunder. Having worked well with John Dyson in the West Indies, I was impressed with his plans for the Thunder and I think the team will have a great chance to win this competition,” Gayle said on Cricket New South Wales’s website.

Scorchers coach Mickey Arthur also expressed his disappointment at not getting Gayle.

“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 was quoted as saying by The Age.

“But there are limitations within the salary cap and securing one player but running the risk of losing talented young players in the process is simply not an option when you are trying to build a team from scratch.”

“We have made the decision to invest in our local stars, whilst also entering the market for two outstanding international recruits,” Arthur said.

“We are very confident we have the mix right and look forward to making several exciting announcements in the coming days.”

All eight teams have a salary cap of $1 million for season one of the league with a minimum playing contract set at $20,000. The contracting window for the 2011-12 season opened at 9 a.m. Thursday and closes at 5 p.m. Friday. Teams can sign up to 18 players - and a minimum of 14 - including up to two from overseas.

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