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Page last updated at 15:37 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 16:37 UK

Strauss hits back over Gayle row

Second Test: England v West Indies
Venue: Riverside Stadium, Chester-le-Street Dates: 14-18 May
Start time: 1100 BST Coverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Radio 4 LW, Red Button and online, with live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & mobiles. Live on Sky Sports


Strauss stands up for Test cricket

England captain Andrew Strauss has hit back in the row with his West Indies counterpart Chris Gayle insisting he believes Test cricket has a future.

Gayle claimed he would not miss Test cricket if it died out.

But Strauss reiterated his belief that Test cricket was an integral part of the future of the sport.

"I believe firmly it's a primary form of the game and something that deserves respect in the way you prepare for it," Strauss told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"It's quite a personal situation for him because he only came back a couple of days before the first Test match and he's had some criticism for doing that.

"If I was a team-mate of his and I was walking out to play a Test match tomorrow you probably don't want to hear your captain saying that he doesn't value Test cricket very highly."

BBC Sport's Oliver Brett

Gayle arrived in England well after the rest of his team-mates following his involvement in the Indian Premier League.

Before the Lord's Test, which England won by 10 wickets with Gayle making 28 and a duck in his two innings, Strauss criticised the 29-year-old's decision to arrive in England just 48 hours before the match.

Strauss said: "There's a line there. Certainly we wouldn't want our players to arrive two days before.

"The important thing is that Test cricket gets the attention it deserves. And that means that people prepare themselves properly for any Test match you play.

"You don't want Test cricket to be devalued in any way, shape or form."

But speaking ahead of the second Test at Durham's Riverside home, which starts on Thursday, Gayle advised Strauss to mind his own business.

"I wouldn't be so sad if Test cricket ended," Gayle told The Guardian.

"Maybe Andrew Strauss would be sad if Test cricket dies and Twenty20 comes in because there is no way he can make the change. So tough luck.

Gayle laughs off Strauss rift

"It doesn't concern him.

"Strauss should focus on his team, don't worry about West Indies, don't worry about me.

"Tell him don't sleep with Chris on his mind, tell him get Chris off his mind."

The article with Gayle also suggested he is on the verge of relinquishing the West Indies captaincy, which he has held since taking over from Ramnaresh Sarwan in 2008.

But Gayle later moved to clarify his comments, admitting he does intend to give up the captaincy but at no stage in the near future.

"I'm definitely not going to resign now," Gayle told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Maybe what I said was misinterpreted - I was talking about the future of West Indies cricket because at some stage you'll look to rebuild and I won't be playing this game for ever."

Gayle also confirmed his belief that Twenty20 cricket is becoming the more popular form of the game.

He said: "I think Test cricket will always be there but no doubt about it Twenty20 has come on board and made a big impression on cricket.

"If you speak to any youngster these days they are not going to talk about Test cricket and that's a fact, they're going to talk about Twenty20 cricket."

Meanwhile former West Indies cricketer Colin Croft and BBC pundit has said he sympathises with Gayle.

Croft also described the position of West Indies captain as a poisoned chalice.

"The last person who actually wanted to be captain continuously was Viv Richards way back in 1991," Gayle told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"Nobody has said openly they want to be West Indies captain, because it's a poisoned chalice."

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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
13 May 09 |  Cricket
England anxious to wrap up series
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England hungry for Ashes momentum
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England recall Bell & Sidebottom
10 May 09 |  England
England seal emphatic Lord's win
08 May 09 |  England
Windies lost plot, reveals Gayle
08 May 09 |  England
Windies begin tour without stars
19 Apr 09 |  West Indies
Angry Gayle hits out at Pietersen
28 Mar 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
West Indies in England 2009
04 Dec 08 |  Cricket

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