Kingston, April 3: West Indies opener Chris Gayle has been all but ruled out of the two-match Test series against Australia in June.
The left-hander has already confirmed his uvailability for the upcoming three-Test series against England due to a chronic back injury, reports cricket.com.au.
However, he will play for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) that starts next week.
From India, Gayle will head to England for a short stint with county side Somerset in England’s domestic T20 competition, which will end with a match against Glamorgan on June 13.
Given the second Test against Australia in Gayle’s home country of Jamaica is scheduled to start on June 13, it will appear impossible for Gayle to honour his Somerset deal and play in the Test series.
The West Indies said their squad for the series against Australia will be announced in due course.
“The West Indies team is preparing for a three-Test series against England which starts later this month,” a spokesperson told cricket.com.au on Friday.
“The start of the Australia Test series is still two months away - almost to the day.
“As soon as we have confirmation of a squad for the series, we will publicise in the usual manner.”
After his time in England, Gayle will return home to play in the Caribbean Premier League, which begins on June 20.
The opener’s absence from the battle for the Frank Worrell Trophy would come as no great surprise given that his troublesome back makes it difficult for him to withstand the rigours of the five-day game.
His back issue, which flared up during the World Cup, forced his withdrawal from the England series. But the 35-year-old hasn’t given up on Test cricket just yet.
“I definitely want to play the T20 World Cup next year for West Indies (in India in March and April, 2016) - there’s no doubt about that,” he said last month.
“But I’ve got a few concerns and injuries to try and solve. I’m out of the Test series but I haven’t retired from any format as yet.
“As I go on I will keep informing WICB about my progress in the future with West Indies cricket.”
The first Test between Australia and the West Indies begins in Dominica on June 5. IANS