Chris Gayle: Somerset would prefer a player for T20 Blast's duration - Matthew Maynard
Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard has hinted that former West Indies captain Chris Gayle may not return to the county in 2017.
Gayle, 37, was an overseas player for Somerset in the T20 Blast in both 2015 and 2016, but was not available for all their games in either year.
"He's here for a period and then we miss him and it leaves a big hole in our team," Maynard told BBC Somerset.
"I'm not saying he won't come back - Chris Gayle has been brilliant for us."
Gayle said his "body needed a break" after his second spell with Maynard's side came to an end in June.
Overall in 2016, the batsman scored 177 runs in five outings for the county, after making a crowd-pleasing 328 runs in three Somerset appearances in 2015.
"He wasn't as successful on the pitch last year but his influence is still there for all," Maynard added.
"But then when he disappears, we kind of lose our way and we've done that in two years.
"In an ideal situation, we'd like to have an overseas player for the duration of the T20 competition and try and keep that settled side."
Somerset finished bottom of their T20 Blast group last year, winning only three of their 14 matches.