West Indies news April 21, 2011

'I had no other choice' - Gayle

ESPNcricinfo staff

Chris Gayle has said the way he had been treated by the West Indies board (WICB) had left him with little choice but to join the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad for the 2011 IPL and miss the home series against Pakistan. A day after the WICB said it was disappointed at how Gayle had handled the IPL issue, the batsman has hit back, claiming the board had not checked on his rehabilitation from injury after the World Cup, and that he had been "stunned" to learn from the media of his omission from the squads for the Twenty20 and the first two ODIs against Pakistan.

In a hard-hitting interview with KLAS Sports, a radio station in Jamaica, Gayle also poured scorn on the role of the West Indies coach, Ottis Gibson, dismissing him as a "user", and blaming him for wrecking the confidence of his fellow veteran batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan during the World Cup. "The coach messed up the man mentally," he said. "The players were not in the right frame of mind. Sarwan was batting without a free mind. Players told me they lost confidence. A player speaks his mind in team meetings openly… The player said his piece… After that, he never play another World Cup match. But me talk with my mouth and me talk with my bat."

"A group of players were selected for a training camp in Barbados, and I never got a call, nobody spoke to me, and I decided to leave it alone," Gayle said. "I continued my training programme, and I came to find out via the media that a Twenty20 squad was announced, and a one-day international squad was announced, and I was stunned when I saw a big headline in the newspapers, 'Gayle, Sarwan, Chanderpaul dropped'."

Gayle said no one from the WICB had contacted him before the squads had been named. "The only communication I have had with anyone connected with the WICB was when I sent a text message to (team physio) CJ Clark, and gave him an update about how I was doing," he said. "I told him I was feeling good, the progress I was making; I was running, I was in the gym, and working. His only response was that he would send a fitness programme, which I did not receive until the IPL offer had presented itself."

"I wanted to get back on track as quickly as possible. I wanted to play and represent West Indies. This was my ultimate goal, since I did not have a contract, but I was forced into this decision because teams were picked, I was not informed about what was happening, and I did not know what the future would hold. The matches could be played, and other players do well, and I could still be sitting on the sidelines, so I had no other choice.

"I have served West Indies for many years, but I was disrespected a lot, and I have been playing under a lot of pressure. I can't sleep properly. I need to get this off my chest. I want everybody to print what I said, I want to clear the air and I want them to ease up. WICB… back up offa my back."

Gayle's explanation, however, was at odds with what the WICB said in a release soon after it granted him the no-objection certificate, clearing his participation in the IPL. The board claimed it had been in communication with Gayle.

"At the conclusion of the cricket World Cup, Gayle underwent a medical examination in the UK," the WICB said. "Following Gayle's consultation with a UK doctor it was determined that he would require at least two to three weeks of rest before returning to training.

"The WICB medical personnel had been communicating with Gayle on the status and management of his injury since his return to Jamaica following the Cricket World Cup, this included arrangements for his rehabilitative programme. Gayle was undergoing rehabilitative work with an appointed physiotherapist and had already attended ten sessions. The next phase was to include sport-specific training along with a running programme.

"After the resumption of training the WICB team management would have organised a fitness test to assess Gayle's fitness and decisions would have then been taken about his selection to the West Indies team to face Pakistan. It is clear that there was no way that Gayle could have been considered for selection for the first two ODIs given the facts outlined above."

The WICB said it was surprised to learn that Gayle had been making arrangements to play cricket in India when it was under the clear impression that he was undergoing rehabilitation work and about to resume training. "In discussing his application for an NOC, the WICB has repeatedly informed Gayle that he is expected to resume training after which he would be required to undergo a fitness test and once passed fit, he will be considered for selection for the remainder of the Pakistan series."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AbdulRehman on April 24, 2011, 18:57 GMT

    I am quite sure that West Indies has that much talent which they had in 70s,80,s and 90,s.I am from Pakistan and i follow the game very much.All i can say is that the WICB needs cleaning.West Indies can never be short in talent.If someone doesn't believe then he should consult a psychiatrist.Contracts are not the motivators or are the proofs of loyalty to your Nation,if they were then what would you say about the Great Brian Lara...??We don't know on which grounds Gayle didn't sign the contract but all i know is that he deserves some respect after all he has done for his team.WICB should learn to give respect to its star players and crowd magnets.If India can cash the reputation of these players then why cant their own boards...??

  • PATRICK on April 24, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    WICB should have said Gayle was injured as the only reason he was left out - Not give rubbish reasons of young blood and no inherent right to play every match. If they do not communicate their commitment (if there is any) to Gayle then one can hardly blame this professional cricketer for wanting to play cricket elsewhere. There is more value for all parties him keeping himself in form (even at 20/20) rather than not playing any cricket at all.

  • Dane on April 24, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    Hey, signing a retainer contract doesn't mean that your loyal to WI cricket. The teams of the 70's, 80's and 90's didn't have retainer contracts. Did it mean that they were not loyal to WI cricket? Why did it take so long for the WICB to implement retainer contracts? Brian Lara did not sign a retainer contract! The retainer contract only ensures that the cricketers are available to the WICB whenever they wont to use them. The WICB needs a cleaning. We've been saying that years. I'm fed up with them!

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2011, 2:39 GMT

    A man has to make choices, Gayle you made your choice and I am supporting you... wish you were representing the WI at the moment, but the politics is overbearing.... I cannot understand how Chanderpaul and Sars were left out of the team.... WI will receive a 5-0 trashing in the ODI series......

  • Dummy4 on April 24, 2011, 0:23 GMT

    im a chris gayle fan & i support every positive move that gayle makes & i think that was the right choice.clyde butts cant select a proper team.there is no other frontline bowler in WI team that has more ODI than gayle.

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    For years and years the West Indies players and WIPA has been striving to get Central Retainer contracts but the WICB treated them like nothing because other avenues like the IPL wasn't around at that time. Now the WICB wants to "keep a hold" on their players because of the great opportunities presented to them by other franchises, mainly the IPL. Now Gayle has made a name on the international scene the WICB wants to hold him back by forcing him to sign a Central Retainer contract to play for the WI. Yes, it is loyal and honorable to play for the West Indies, but players should have the right to play wherever they want as long as it is legitimate and not be chastised for it.

  • Emery on April 23, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    What sanctimonious nonsense! Professional cricketers have so few avenues for earning a living. WI professionals are even more vulnerable. We could never support a professional league. It is in our interest to encourage players to earn their living outside of West Indian cricket, instead of using blackmail to prevent them from doing so. This policy would increase the pool of professional players; the number of players continuing to play after secondary school; general interest; the pool of young cricketers. This strategy may be the only option left in our attempts to revive our game. Instead the WICB have chosen to go down the opposite road with its scorch and burn, divide and conquer policies.

    As we cannot guarantee them a livelihood, Gayle, Bravo, Pollard and anyone good enough to catch the eye of other professional teams should be given our maximum support. When they do well they also add to the prestige of WI cricket.

  • Dummy4 on April 23, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Its money that matters in modern world....you have to make maximum money when u have the ability...one can simply say that people like Gayle & Malinga are forgetting their nation and playing club cricket...i dont feel they have done such a bad thing.

  • Sowndra Rajan on April 23, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    Common gayle india and your fans we with you ,prove u r self IPL is the best,now your the gainer WICB is the looser,I tell one advice to WICB don't make wrong decision ,in the final gayle quit in criket like malinga,please aware

  • Bijoy on April 23, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Comeon Guys Just don't blame Gayle alone. Just take the case of chaders,sarwan they are out of the side and it will be very difficult for them to return back to the side from now on and very quickly we will forget them. Even these guys have not performed well even to impress IPL teams so just see their stage were there are not financial stable nor coming back to the team. Now gayle is taking his chance to play 3-4 IPL seasons and make his life financially fit so he wont regeret in the future .Please think from the part of players also before blaming.

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