West Indies legend Viv Richards has come out against Chris Gayle for his comments on fellow Antiguan Curtly Ambrose. He opined that Ambrose commands respect for the achievements at the highest level of the game.
Gayle had hit out at the former West Indies fast bowler earlier this week who was critical of his selection in the T20 World Cup 2021 West Indies squad. Gayle stated that he has no respect for Ambrose and that he is 'finished' with him.
Viv Richards stated that Curtly Ambrose has put in hard yards at the international level and has earned the right to voice his opinions. He told the Daily Observer:
“It’s Curtly’s honest opinion and he is entitled to that and he is just as much as an achiever as Chris Gayle at the highest level and you should have respect for that. So when you hear it’s coming from an individual who would have also been an achiever and being a legend in the department of the sport we would have represented, you must have respect for that too."
Curtly Ambrose had shared his concerns about Chris Gayle’s form leading into the T20 World Cup 2021. He had stated that Gayle is no longer an automatic starter in the team.
There are so many folks who would have had their criticisms: Viv Richards on Chris Gayle's inclusion in WC squad
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Viv Richards reminded Chris Gayle that Curtly Ambrose is not the only one in the islands who was critical of his selection in the World Cup squad. The former West Indies captain, though, confirmed his belief in the abilities of the Universe Boss and urged him to use the criticism as a motivator. He said:
“If I was Chris, the best positive way I could look at it would be to set my mind on what I would like to accomplish because it is not just Curtly. There are so many folks who would have had their criticisms about Chris being in the team. Chris is still a pretty good player in my opinion and at this point, that particular criticism must be used as a motivator.”
Richards added that the World Cup could be the best stage for Gayle to vindicate himself through performances with the bat. He added:
“Prove people wrong and when you do that, that is what proper professionalism is all about.”
Chris Gayle has scored just 227 runs in 16 T20Is at an average of 17.46 in 2021. He will be in action when the West Indies begin their title defense with a Super 12 game against England on October 23.