The Kolkata Knight Riders in all likelihood will be retaining explosive West Indies opener Chris Gayle for the upcoming fourth edition of Indian Premier League.
There were talks that the franchise will allow its current players to go under the hammer but the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise are seriously mulling on retaining Gayle, who is a proven match-winner in the shorter format.
Although Pakistan will tour West Indies from April 21 next year, Gayle is not bound by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) central contract, which may give him a chance to play in the IPL.
"It's only logical that KKR would retain Gayle. You simply can't ignore the impact he has on a match if he gets going. He has a strike-rate of close to 145 in this format and Twenty20 is all about impact. Also he is an effective off-spinner," someone who closely monitors the proceedings of the Kolkata franchise said.
"With Delhi Daredevils set to retain Virender Sehwag, Mumbai Indians keeping Sachin Tendulkar and Chennai Super Kings having Mahendra Singh Dhoni, it's imperative that KKR also has one match-winner on board before going into the auctions. He is someone like Sehwag who can make a difference," he added.
The reason why KKR officials are keen on retaining Gayle is because he is supposed to be one of the most sought after players if he is released for auctions.
"Once, he (Gayle) is in the auctions, is there any guarantee that KKR will be able to retain him?" the source questioned.
Gayle recently scored 333 against Sri Lanka with 34 boundaries and nine sixes. The big Jamaican opener literally murdered the Lankan attack single handedly. That is one innings that has made everyone sit back and think twice about sending the player for auctions.