Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Renegades’ chief executive Stuart Coventry has confirmed they will not re-sign swashbuckling West Indian opener Chris Gayle for next summer’s tournament.
Gayle also faces possible censure from his English county club Somerset when he arrives in the UK following his latest controversial remarks to a female journalist in that country. He has since said the comments were made in jest to have a bit of fun.
At one point in the interview, Gayle told the journalist he has “a very, very big bat, the biggest in the wooooorld,” adding: “You think you could lift it? You’d need two hands.”
The Jamaican earlier courted controversy during his infamous “don’t blush baby” interview with Australian reporter Mel McLaughlin during last season’s BBL.
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Gayle equalled the record for the fastest Twenty20 fifty in his final innings for the Renegades last summer, but otherwise was below par with 260 runs at an average of 32.50 in eight matches.
“We’ll unveil our international signings soon and Chris isn’t part of those plans,” Coventry was quoted as saying by News Corp on Tuesday, reports Cricket Australia’s website.
Gayle’s banishment from the Big Bash comes as the West Indian launched a publicity drive for his forthcoming autobiography in which former cricketers Chris Rogers, Ian Chappell and Andrew Flintoff have earned the West Indian’s scorn.
The trio were each critical of Gayle’s comments to McLaughlin last summer and Gayle has hit back in his book.
Rogers told earlier in January that he was concerned about the influence the West Indian might have on youngsters when they played together at the Sydney Thunder. But Gayle hit back to claim Rogers was his partner in crime at the Sydney nightspots.
“Chris Rogers, how can you claim that when it was you and me at the bar most nights?” Gayle was quoted as saying by The Times, London, on Monday.
“I’m not a snitch, but I’ve heard from your own mouth what you’ve done. Next time you want to open your mouth, maybe chew on a carrot instead,” he added.
Gayle also said, “you would have to ban cricket itself” if the International Cricket Council (ICC) followed through on Chappell’s requests to have him removed from the sport.
“Ian Chappell, a man who was once convicted of unlawful assault in the West Indies for punching a cricket official. Ian Chappell, how can you ban the Universe Boss? You’d have to ban cricket itself,” Gayle said.
Flintoff tweeted after the infamous “don’t blush baby” remarks to say that Gayle had “made himself look a bit of a chop there” to draw Gayle’s ire.
“This coming from a man who admitted he (Flintoff) took Viagra during a Test match. The only chop Freddie knows is when he used to bowl short to me and I would chop him past backward point for four,” Gayle said.
Gayle was forced to apologise the following morning for asking McLaughlin out for a drink on live TV. However, he still maintained the whole affair was nothing more than a joke.
Gayle is currently playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indan Premier League.