Gayle led Tallawahs to a commanding seven wicket victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors to win the inaugural event last month. Lara wants Gayle, himself a former West Indies captain, to be a leader in the West Indies dressing room as well. (Agencies)
"What I must say though is that he has gained a lot of respect from me for his victory with the Tallawahs," said Lara who is considered as one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era.
"The way he led the team I am almost sure that his strike rate was nowhere near some of his other teammates but the responsibility rests on his shoulders and the way he handled it was tremendous and that says something about the individual," he said.
Gayle batted responsibly to finish unbeaten on 47 off 48 balls in the finals against Warriors and shared in an unbeaten 62 run partnership with Andre Russell.
"Hopefully we can get that contribution that he has made as a leader with the Jamaican team in the Twenty20 tournament as one of the leaders in the West Indies team," said Lara.
"You don't necessarily have to be the leader in the team or the captain of the team but as long as you are one of the senior players you can have great effect on the entire way the team performs," he said.
The batting legend appears to have some reservations about having separate West Indies captains for different forms of the game. The issue has been a subject of ongoing debate that the Trinidadian batsman says is not the "perfect situation".
Currently Darren Sammy captains the Caribbean team in Test matches and One-day internationals, while Dwayne Bravo took over from Sammy as One-day international skipper this year.
"If that is the option at the present time so be it, but it should not affect how a team performs," said Lara who topped the Test batting rankings on several occasions and holds several cricketing records.
"Ideally you would like to have someone who can handle all three forms of the game," he said.
Gayle led Tallawahs to a commanding seven wicket victory over the Guyana Amazon Warriors to win the inaugural event last month. Lara wants Gayle, himself a former West Indies captain, to be a leader in the West Indies dressing room as well.