Veteran superstar Chris Gayle has made a return for this year’s Caribbean Premier League, after sitting out last year’s tournament for “personal reasons”.
The 41-year-old will turn out for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots where he spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons, and helped them reach their only final in his first year.
Gayle was announced to represent St Lucia Zouks in the 2020 campaign after controversially leaving his native Jamaica Tallawahs, but pulled out just before the players draft.
The left-hander, the most successful batsman in the T20 format, is the second highest run-getter in CPL with 2354 runs at an average of 39, along with four centuries.
He will join forces with veteran West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo who is set to feature for Patriots for the first time, after leaving his native Trinbago Knight Riders.
Chris Gayle will also have West Indies teammates Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen and Sheldon Cottrell as company, with the trio retained by Patriots for the new season.
Gayle is one of three new players acquired by the franchise for the August 28 to September 19 campaign, with Guyana and West Indies all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford making the move from Guyana Amazon Warriors.
The new acquisitions will be critical for St Kitts after winning just a single game last season to finish the bottom of the pile on three points.
Meanwhile, leading Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan has joined Tallawahs where he also featured in 2016 and 2017.
The 34-year-old, who has scored 5118 and taken 362 wickets from 320 T20s, is the first overseas signing made by the franchise.
There, he will link up with explosive West Indies all-rounders Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite, who were earlier retained.
In-form South African batsman Faf du Plessis will have his second taste of the CPL after putting pen to paper for Zouks.
The 36-year-old, who turned out for Patriots in 2016, enjoyed a stunning run of form for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League last month before it was suspended, reeling off half-centuries in his last four innings to average 64 from seven innings.
This year’s edition of the CPL will be played in St Kitts.