Chris Gayle might face suspension from BBL over his demeaning behaviour
The road for the Caribbean Charisma, Chris Gayle, seems to be getting tougher and tougher, as after his controversial and demeaning comments in an interview with a Ten Network reporter Mel McLaughlin, another story surfaced of him behaving in a derogatory manner against another female who was working around the West Indies cricket team during the ICC Cricket World Cup in February last year.
The southpaw faces expulsion from the Big Bash League if the charges against him of exposing himself to the said woman during the World Cup is found to be true. While he was already facing flak for his ‘don’t blush baby’ comment on McLaughlin, fresh allegations came out wherein the aforementioned worker accused Gayle of exposing himself to her in the West Indian dressing room.
Allegations of inappropriate behaviour
The batsman, it was said, pulled the towel he was wrapped in down and said, “Are you looking for this?” while directing himself at the woman who was probably there to have a sandwich. Although the cricketer denied both the allegations, both Cricket Australia (CA) and the Big Bash Management are fuming over the fiasco.
West Indies team manager Richie Richardson was enquired about this incident during the washed-out third Test between Australia and West Indies at the SCG, who, it has been reported, was told about the incident back then but didn't know which player was involved, and hence, the matter was dealt internally.
Carole Beckford, the West Indies Cricket Boards’s (WICB) communication manager said, however, that “no complaint has come to the board regarding anything.”
Nevertheless, it was revealed later that since the opening batsman was mentioned publicly, Richardson would be filing an official report to the WICB. Although the 36-year old does not have a contract with the WICB, if these allegations are proven, his chances of competing at the ICC World T20 in India in March can be jeopardized.
So far, there has been a timid response from the accused or his management, with Insignia Sports International, the player’s management group saying Wednesday: “Chris denies the allegations published by Fairfax Media earlier today.”
“It is important that anyone seeking to make false accusations against Chris be aware that Chris and his management will be considering all rights and legal options available.
“There will be no further comment from Chris or his management at this stage."
ICC denies intervention
Meanwhile, the ICC has distanced itself from the entire episode with the reasoning being that the apex body is not responsible for the players’ conduct outside matches, as it is beyond the jurisdiction of the council’s code of conduct. These comments were made by a spokesperson in Dubai on behalf of the global governing body, who also made it clear that it’s highly unlikely that the ICC would look into these allegations.
"This a matter for the home board and not for the ICC. As the ICC has not received any complaint, there is nothing for the ICC to investigate," the spokesman said.
Having said that, the ball is now in WICB’s court, who haven’t confirmed yet as to whether there would be an investigation into the matter.
That aside, the fraternity back in Australia has been fuming over the controversy, with many of them of the opinion that a strong message has to be sent to everyone, and that Gayle must not escape just with a fine of $10,000, that was imposed on him by his franchise, the Melbourne Renegades.
It is also possible that apart from being sacked from the current tournament, the Caribbean might not be invited to play in the future leagues as well.
Support from Coventry
However, a lone supporter for Gayle has also emerged in the form of Stuart Coventry, the Renegades chief executive, who said that the female worker was being opportunistic with her allegations.
The Renegades’ boss, who had earlier described his player’s on-field comments as a mere ‘pass’ and a ‘one-off incident,’ said that the franchise was comfortable with the sanction that was placed on the cricketer, with the money coming from it to be donated to the McGrath foundation.
"We have pretty much nailed everything we wanted to say yesterday," Coventry said.
"We have addressed the issue with a fine that we think is appropriate. Chris regrets his comments, he has apologized, and as a club we have apologized to Mel, our fans and the public.”
"We think Chris' comments were completely inappropriate and disrespectful and we have spoken to Chris about this at length.”
"Whatever third parties come out and make comments about incidents that happened in the past have nothing to do with us," he added further.
Calls for suspension
James Sutherland, the CA chief executive, is not amused at all, neither with the comments nor with Coventry’s backing, as he termed Gayle's comments as "borderline harassment."
Victoria cricket, Coventry’s employer later issued a rebuttal to its employee.
"Cricket Victoria is committed to demonstrating that our sport respects girls and women and we're working incredibly hard to ensure that is the case," Cricket Victoria chief Tony Dodemaide said.
"We certainly don't condone the reported comments attributed to Stuart this morning and we're looking into it further."
Jim Maxwell, an eminent Australian cricket commentator felt that Gayle had been let off lightly with his monetary punishment and felt that the cricketer must be banned. "He is very lucky to have been brushed with a feather here. He should be banned … definitely, at least a suspension,” he said.