No progress in WICB-Gayle standoff
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) management will write to Chris Gayle after a meeting of its board of directors on June 17, outlining the way forward in the ongoing discord between the former captain and the administrators.
Ahead of that meeting, the two parties involved in the feud released their versions of the meeting on June 14, which ended without a decision on a timeframe and concrete process for Gayle's reinstatement in the West Indies side, or whether he would be reinstated at all.
The upshot is that Gayle's future is in limbo, and he won't play the first Test against India at Sabina Park, beginning on June 20. Gayle himself, according to the Aide Memoire of that June 14 meeting kept by the WIPA and released by Caribbean Sports Media Online (CSMO), "emphasised his concern that the timeframe for his reinstatement to the West Indies team seemed to be indefinite". He also sought clarification on why he was not considered for selection for the limited-overs matches against India after indicating his availability to the WICB.
The West Indies board later issued another release saying it had "has rejected it [Aide Memoire] as an accurate account of the meeting."
According to the minutes, released by the CSMO, Gayle had attended it certain the issues would be resolved amicably and he would be selected in the West Indies squad because he had not been a subject of disciplinary action previously in his international career.
The WICB, however, outlined reasons why Gayle was not selected for the limited-overs matches against India, and could not be selected until issues regarding his public criticism of the board and the team management were resolved.
"The comments made by him [Gayle] in the KLAS interview had created much ill-will with team management and unless there was a settling of differences, it would be difficult to see how the parties could harmoniously function," the WICB said in its release.
In a reference to Gayle playing the IPL while West Indies were hosting Pakistan, the WICB said that its board of directors would have to establish guidelines on "on how to handle players who, for reasons other than fitness or personal distress, make themselves unavailable for selection but expect to be selected whenever they deem it necessary to make themselves available."
At the meeting, the WICB was represented by chief executive Ernest Hilaire, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson, director of cricket Anthony Howard and team manager Richie Richardson, while WIPA chief Dinanath Ramnarine and vice-president Wavell Hinds accompanied Gayle.
The WICB said it "outlined to Gayle that the board has had issues historically in communicating with him and establishing a productive working relationship. Exceptional efforts had been made, especially during his tenure as captain, to establish that relationship." They cited Gayle's announcements on Twitter - about him wanting to take a break from the game and the mid-series cancellation of the tour of Sri Lanka because of incessant rain, among others - and his comments to KLAS Sports, a radio station in Jamaica.
WIPA rejected those charges by saying, "Gayle's conduct was a response to how he felt the board treated him and had tarnished his name and reputation."
Gayle also raised the issue of "being threatened" when he was sent a contract for the 2011 World Cup by Hilaire. According to WIPA's Aide Memoire, Gayle, who was in Australia at the time, had requested for the contract documents to be sent to the players' association so that he could be "properly advised".
"As a result of that request, the WICB CEO responded by informing Chris Gayle that if he did not sign the agreement by [the following] Monday at 4.30pm the CEO would instruct the selectors to pick another player. The CEO further stated that he does not have to send any agreements to WIPA and he will not be doing so. Mr Ramnarine pointed out in the Collective Agreement where the WICB was required to do so. Agreement for the WC 2011 was reached several days after, but at the time when Chris Gayle had inquired no agreement was reached."
Ramnarine insisted the WICB copy the WIPA on all correspondence to the players, saying it was "part of the process the parties have agreed to in the various agreements and expressed disappointment at the failure of the WICB to follow that process". Hilaire did not agree, and insisted he would continue writing directly to the players.