The Northern Knights will play the Otago Volts in their final
HRV Twenty20 game without the services of West Indian
allrounder Chris Gayle, but coach Grant Bradburn said today
they were close to signing him.
"We thought we had him signed up and coming over but he has
decided to stay in Sydney,'' Bradburn said.
"It would have been nice - even though we are out of
contention-_ for the crowd and the event, to have a player
like him but it wasn't to be.''
The Knights had hoped to bring the big-hitting Gayle to
Hamilton's Seddon Park for a one-off match in order to
attract a big crowd following a tough season financially.
Several Knights matches over the holiday period were badly
affected by rain which kept crowds away.
Gayle finished his stint in Australia's Big Bash League last
night as his Sydney Thunder side were thrashed by the
Brisbane Heat at the Gabba. Although he scored a first-ball
duck in his final innings, he has been a success for the
Thunder this season, scoring an unbeaten century off 54 balls
and two half-centuries.
The Knights' Dan Vettori and Volts' Brendon McCullum played
against him for the Heat last night.
Bradburn announced two changes to the Knights team for the
match against the Volts, Brett Hampton replacing BJ Watling
after his call-up to the New Zealand XI and James Marshall
coming in for the injured Corey Anderson.
Knights: Scott Styris (c), Graeme Aldridge, Trent Boult,
Anton Devcich, Brett Hampton, Hamish Marshall, James
Marshall, Peter McGlashan, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori, Kane
Williamson, Brad Wilson.