Gayle has to withdraw comments to represent West Indies again

Gayle has not featured in a West Indies side after the World Cup on the Asian subcontinent Getty Images

St John’s (Antigua): Oct 20, 2011

The West Indies Cricket Board says estranged batsman Chris Gayle will have to withdraw his comments against the Board if he wants to wear maroon colours again.

That was the decision taken by the Board of Directors who met last weekend in St Lucia, and it comes after several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the highly contentious issue.

“Having received reports and reviewed correspondence between Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board and the West Indies Team Management and taking into consideration public statements made by Gayle with regard to the Board and its officers, the Board requires that Gayle withdraws his comments in order to be considered for selection to the West Indies team,” a WICB media statement said Wednesday.

The Board said it had communicated the decision to Gayle and was currently awaiting his response.

Attempts by CMC Sports to reach West Indies Players Association chief executive Dinanath Ramnarine for comment were unsuccessful.

In the statement, the WICB said it viewed Gayle as an experienced player who “can contribute meaningfully to the performance of the West Indies team” and hoped that he would “comply with the standards and requirements set by the Board”.

The Board said it would be happy to comply with a request from the Jamaican Cricket Association to engage the services of facilitator in order to help Gayle meet its requirements.

Gayle has not featured in a West Indies side ever since making highly controversial comments about the Board and head coach Ottis Gibson earlier this year, following the World Cup on the Asian subcontinent.

He missed the Pakistan series to play in the Indian Premier League but on his return to the Caribbean was told by the WICB he needed to explain his comments before he could be considered for selection for the series against India in June-July.

However, a June meeting in Jamaica involving Gayle, WICB and West Indies Players Association officials failed to resolve the matter and ended in acrimony.

Subsequently, Gayle met privately with WICB chief executive Ernest Hilaire in Antigua to resolve the issue and the player described the meeting as “productive”.

Last month, Gayle said he had spoken to Gibson who had demanded an apology, but the former West Indies captain insisted he would not be backing down from his statements.

Following a call from Gayle, Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) prime ministerial subcommittee on cricket was revived in an attempt to resolve the issue, but it is not clear what have been the discussions. (IANS)