Somerset have 'first option' on T20 star Chris Gayle

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Chris Gayle has offered Somerset the 'first option' on his services for this summer's domestic Twenty20 tournament in England, a year after the destructive West Indian batsman backed out of a move to Taunton.

The 33-year-old had signed a deal with Somerset in 2012 to be their overseas player, but this proposed move fell through after Gayle agreed a return to the West Indies set-up after a period of international exile.

Gayle could, however, become a Somerset player 12 months on from this initial rejection, after the club's chairman Andy Nash revealed constructive talks had been held between the opener and county representatives.

Nash told BBC Somerset: "He's openly saying he would offer Somerset first refusal on his services in the shorter format."

Earlier this week Gayle scored the fastest century ever recorded in professional cricket, as he plundered eight fours and 11 sixes on his way to a 30-ball ton for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Gayle ended the innings unbeaten on 175 from 66 balls, with his individual score the highest mark ever reached in the T20 format and his 17 maximums the most ever in a first-class knock.

Royal Challengers Bangalore reached 265/5 in their effort against Pune Warriors - surpassing Sri Lanka's previous T20 record of 260 set against Kenya.

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