AB: Gayle’s too old to train every day

2015 World Cup

West Indies opener Chris Gayle did not train with the rest of the team after his mammoth double century against Zimbabwe on Tuesday, with the management letting him rest his troublesome lower back.

While there was no hint that Gayle would miss Friday's game against South Africa, it was made clear that he had been given permission to sit out, and Proteas skipper AB de Villiers said Gayle was often missing from the nets.

Windies skipper Jason Holder had confirmed: "In terms of Chris's fitness, obviously he's been struggling over the past with his back, so we're trying to monitor him as best as we possibly can."

De Villiers, a friend of Gayle's and a team-mate in the Indian Premier League for a few seasons now, saying it wasn't unusual for Gayle to sit out a session, joking that the Jamaican was too old to train every day.

De Villiers said: "He doesn't train often. I played with him in Bangalore, and you don't often see him in the nets.

"His body is quite old for his age (35) I think and he needs to look after himself to make sure he gets on the park for all the games."

Of Gayle's massive 215 against Zimbabwe, De Villiers added: "It's not a surprise to see him bat like that.

"It's a matter of making sure you make your plans against him. He's a world class player and he can win games for his team in almost any situation."

Holder also added that the players were thrilled that Gayle had found his form again, and that he was a popular member of the dressing room, despite all the drama that often surrounds Windies cricket.

He said: "We always rally around Chris, he is one of the most jovial people in the dressing room. He brings a different atmosphere. He brings a lot of fun. He's a big team man, and his presence is always felt in the dressing room.

"It was a really good feeling not only to see him get a hundred, but going to get a double hundred. He's broken records, and he's set the path in world cricket, in a sense.

"His success is crucial to our overall success. We love him, and he's a huge member of the team for us. It's good to have him."