West Indies news

Gayle's future in doubt after heated meeting

Sriram Veera in Kingston

June 15, 2011

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Chris Gayle looks down in dismay during West Indies' loss, West Indies v Pakistan, 1st quarter-final, World Cup 2011, March 23, 2011
Chris Gayle has not reached agreement with the West Indies board © Associated Press
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Chris Gayle is highly unlikely to play in the Test series against India and is in danger of not representing West Indies in the near future. A heated meeting on Wednesday night between the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and Gayle's camp ended in a stalemate, according to those present, with conflicting reports from both sides over what had happened in the meeting.

After the meeting, a West Indies board source told ESPNcricinfo there was a possibility that Gayle's career could go down the same road as that of Andrew Symonds, who now plies his trade only as a freelance player in domestic Twenty20 events across the world and does not play for Australia. Gayle's camp said this prediction made by the board was an indication that the WICB wanted to end the international career of the former West Indies captain. They also said the meeting had proved the board was in no mood to arrive at a compromise, refusing to negotiate unless Gayle retracted statements he made in a radio interview in April.

Gayle was present at the three-hour meeting along with Ramnarine and WIPA vice-president Wavell Hinds, while the board was represented by Hilaire, coach Ottis Gibson, team manager Richie Richardson and director of cricket Tony Howard.

After the meeting on Wednesday, in which tempers are said to have flared, allegations from both camps flew thick and fast. A WICB source alleged that Dinanath Ramnarine, the president of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), had lifted his chair and threatened to assault the board CEO Ernest Hilaire. WIPA denied the incident but conceded that there had been verbal disagreements and that Ramnarine had got out from his chair at one point, but had neither lifted the chair nor tried to hit Hilaire.

A WIPA source said the meeting ended with Hilaire saying he would have to speak with the WICB management and the selectors before any more action was taken. No further meeting between the two parties was scheduled. The West Indies board will meet on June 17 in Kingston, with a new round of players contracts due in three months. The Gayle issue is also expected to be discussed.

The WICB wants Gayle to retract the statements he made on radio earlier this year, during an interview in which he alleged the board had mismanaged his injury, that coach Gibson had damaged Ramnaresh Sarwan's confidence, and the board mishandled his contract talks in October 2010.

The player's camp said they were willing to negotiate but the WICB had been adamant and wanted to end Gayle's career to set a precedent. "They just want him to beg and apologise," the WIPA source said. "We were willing to bury the past and move on but they weren't willing. We asked two things. One: why didn't they pick up Gayle? Two: what's the next step from here and what's the time-frame? The board didn't give any time-frame. The thing is just hanging now."

According to the WICB Gayle wanted to brush his allegations made during the radio interview under the carpet and that WIPA was now demanding that he be selected. "They didn't want to retract the statements made which is not acceptable to us," the board source said. "Their claim is that Gayle was upset when he said that and it was just a statement made in that context. The board doesn't agree. You can't make unsubstantiated statements against the board, the coach, and the other issues and just say that you were upset. Gayle has to retract his statements."

If Gayle retracts his statements, the board would likely view the incident as a minor indiscretion, penalise him accordingly, and select him.

The WIPA claims the board doesn't want to see a resolution over the issue and wants to bury both Gayle's career and the players association along with it. "We went in thinking that the issue will be resolved but to our horror they weren't just in the mood," a WIPA source said. "They made lots of false allegations. The real issue is the selection of Gayle. Clearly, they don't want to. It's a big ego issue for them and they are dragging West Indies cricket down with them."

The issue dates back to October 2010, when Gayle refused to sign a contract with the board. The WICB claims that Gayle wanted the board to buy him out of his IPL contract. "It was before the IPL auction time," the board source said. "Gayle said he went for US $800,000 in the last year and wanted the same amount."

Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo, who initially adopted the same position as Gayle, later reached an agreement with the board. They would accept match fees for playing in games for West Indies and were allowed to play in the IPL.

It is understood that later, when Gayle approached the board for a no-objection certificate to play in the IPL, the board agreed because they didn't want to be dragged to the court on a "restraint of trade" clause.

As things stand, a resolution between the board and Gayle now seems extremely unlikely.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by   on (June 19, 2011, 16:18 GMT)

Is Gayle's statement at the radio interview the real issue. The answer in my view is no. Gayle is now seen as a bad influence to the younger players. There is a problem between Gayle & Gibson. And in any case we weren't going anywhere with him in the team,that is how the WICB sees it. He will not apologize and they know it. And finally Samuel did not help his cause by hi-fiving Gayle. Don't be surprised if he is 12th man for the 1st test. No kidding.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2011, 15:42 GMT)

royramesh what world are u living in? that's call restriction of trade do u know that these guys are cricketers & they ply their trade for the enjoyment of the people of the carribbean & the world. but they have to be payed the so call board can not refuse to select them & then say they can't play IPL.u just can't prevent these guys from earning a living. wake up guys we are living in a real world ha ha"

Posted by AsherCA on (June 19, 2011, 14:25 GMT)

To all who read this, including the Cricinfo management - the issue here is not whether any player is above the game. The issue here is a war between WICB & WIPA. Both sides are comfortable with the destruction of a few cricketers' careers & WI Cricket, just to ensure that they are above the other side. Maybe it is time ICC just terminated West Indies as a cricket side. All the countries that form the West Indies should come up with their own cricket teams, associate members of ICC.

Posted by   on (June 19, 2011, 11:47 GMT)

their is a saying becareful of what u ask for because u will surely get it remember when he said he didnt mindful of playing test cricket well he get what he ask for w.i is moving on and will surely moving o n without many of these so call great cricketers kudos to the w.ic.b.c for doing what they r doing when people like noonstar is going to compare gayle to haynes something is wrong with these gayle supporters haynes have done yeoman service for w.i cricket on a consistent basis as against gayle we had better opening bats than him like greenidge/haynes/the late hunte/ fredricks to name a few and as for the w.i.p.a if the players dont get the rid of ramnarine who have his own axe to grind they will be histroy too i have nothing against the w.i.p.a but at the same time they have to realize that this game is a business u either perform or ship out select the players who is hungry for success dont give me a good innings then give me 6 sub standard 1 ramnarine need to tell players

Posted by cricketisagame on (June 19, 2011, 9:15 GMT)

RoyRamesh.. perhaps you should go to the books of law again.. it seems like you're missing few pages there.. If the players are not selected for the national team the board has to give the NOC..mate they will be bankrupt if the player go to the court... forget just loosing...

Posted by   on (June 19, 2011, 6:58 GMT)

Well if west indies does not need him then let's have gayle in indian team

Posted by   on (June 19, 2011, 4:17 GMT)

I think that if the west indies board had any sense they would recall Jerome Taylor for this match here in Jamaica which happens to be the place where he demolished England almost single handedly and it seems is the only place where a true pace attack can thrive but i guess this board loves playing politics. Why is it again that Jamaica is not playing as a separate nation a mean Chris Gayle, Jerome Taylor, Marlon Samuel, Carlton Baugh and the team that just won the championship for the four day competition to choose from hmmm haha lol. Please keep it up so called Windies board you guys may just be the catalyst for the end of this notion of a Windies team and how ironic that the ones put in place to bring harmony to a region are doing more harm than good. I therefore will say it now lets stop this pretense of a regional board and go it as individual nations we might be better served at least that's my opinion.

Posted by WestIndies1987 on (June 18, 2011, 20:49 GMT)

The saddest thing for me is that out team is being destroyed from within.

Posted by delboy on (June 18, 2011, 19:56 GMT)

I notice some smart alex is suggestin the WICB cancel Gayle's NOC. Think what Gayle does for a living. If he is banned from the WI and refused the freedom to earn a living elsewhere are you seriously a FAN of WI cricket or a LAWYER who wish to benefit from Gayle's suit which would most certainly bankrupt the board and kill WI cricket. That is exactly the kind of short sightedness which is causing this stalemate.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2011, 17:49 GMT)

Do people actually listen when the players talk? For the past 4 years, the consistent factor in whatever small steps WI have taken forward has been Chris Gayle. All the younger batsmen credit him with guidance, his captaincy has been both innovative and steady, and most importantly he KNOWS his players. Chris has NEVER had a discipline problem. Never. What seems to be the instigating factor was when the WICB hastily signed on for a return Test Series after SL pulled out, without discussing it with the players and in direct conflict with the IPL. The board has continued to show scant regard for the players' and well as WIPA's opinions. If this was any other profession, this would be in court already. If Gayle wants to play, just fine him or make a joint statement or something. Trying to force an apology from him, and I suspect poor Chanderpaul will meet this fate too, is meaningless and a disgusting way to behave.

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