Kingston (Jamaica): Barbados opening batsman Dwayne Smith will replace an injured Chris Gayle for the upcoming One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Ireland and England, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has said in a statement.

Gayle, who has been recovering from a hamstring injury, which sidelined him for the tours of India and New Zealand, experienced stiffness in his lower back following the first Twenty20 International against Ireland Wednesday, a match the West Indies lost by six wickets.

He did not play in the second and series-levelling victory Friday. He had precautionary scans and will have medical management and necessary treatment in Jamaica.

Test and T20 captain Darren Sammy said Gayle’s omission was out of an abundance of caution after he complained of stiffness in his lower back.

“He is really working hard on his fitness, but on the morning of the match against Ireland he was feeling just a little soreness in his lower back and we decided we are not going to take the chance,” said Sammy.

“He is very important for us and we have already lost the services of (injured Kieron) Pollard so we are giving Chris the best possible chance for him to be fit and recover.”

Smith was the highest scorer and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the recent Nagico Super50 tournament in Trinidad and Tobago. He made 232 runs in four innings at an average of 58 to help Barbados win the Clive Lloyd Trophy.

The West Indies will face Ireland in a one-off ODI Sunday at Sabina Park. They travel to Antigua Monday for three ODIs against England at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground.

The squad to play Ireland:

Dwayne Bravo (Captain), Darren Bravo, Miguel Cummins, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith

In the squad to play England, young Barbados fast bowler Cummins makes way for the experienced Ravi Rampaul.

Source: IANS/CMC