PORT OF SPAIN: India's stand-in-skipper Suresh Raina says he was relieved that explosive opener Chris Gayle would not be playing the opening matches during their tour of the West Indies.

Gayle is embroiled in a bitter dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board, which has summoned him to a meeting to discuss his critcism of the selectors and the board during a highly publicised radio interview last month.

"To be honest yes I'm a bit relieved at the moment," Raina was quoted as saying in the Newsday here.

The West Indies lost the sole Twenty20 match of the series to India by 16 runs at the Queen's Park Oval here Saturday. The five-match One-day International (ODI) series begins here Monday.

Gayle was the leading scorer with 608 runs in the recent Indian Premier League and played a key role in Royal Challengers Bangalore reaching the final.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy said too much has been made of the absence of Gayle, and said his side had shown that they can be competitive without him.

"It's an opportunity for all the other guys to perform," Sammy said. "We won a Twenty20 and a Test match against Pakistan."

"We have managed to draw the series at home against a higher-ranked team. The guys represented the West Indies proudly and played their best. We are looking again to do well."


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