Antigua: West Indies cricketing legend Sir Vivian Richards has rebuffed big-hitter Chris Gayle for saying that he “has no respect” for Curtly Ambrose after the Caribbean fast-bowling great had recently said that “Gayle is definitely not an automatic choice for starting” in the ICC T20 World Cup, scheduled to commence in the UAE and Oman on October 17.

The fearsome West Indian pace bowler of yore, Ambrose had recently pointed out Gayle’s lack of form as he prepares for the T20 World Cup. This year, the ‘Universe Boss’ has just scored 227 runs in 16 T20Is, averaging 17.46.

“For me, Gayle is definitely not an automatic choice for starting,” Ambrose had said on a radio show in Barbados. “When you look at his exploits over the last 18 months, he has struggled not only for the West Indies, but other T20 franchises. The few home series we played, he hasn’t had any scores of significance.”

An angry Gayle shot back, saying, “When I just joined the team, I looked up to this man (Ambrose). But I am now speaking from my heart. I don’t know what, since he retired, what he had against Chris Gayle. Those negative things he has been saying within the press, I don’t know if he is looking for attention, but he is getting the attention. So, I am just giving back the attention which he requires and which he needs. I can tell you personally, and you can let him know that Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, have no respect for Curtly Ambrose whatsoever.”

Coming to the aid of Ambrose, Vivian Richards said, “Sir Curtly has earned the right to speak” and added that Gayle should improve his performance, rather than target Ambrose.

In an interview with The Daily Observer Sports, Richards said, “It’s Curly’s honest opinion and he’s entitled to that and he is just as much as an achiever as Chris Gayle at the highest level. So when you hear it’s coming from an individual who would have also been an achiever and being a legend in the department of the sport we would have represented, you must have respect for that too.

“If I was Chris, the best positive way I would look at it would be to set my mind on what I would like to accomplish because it is just not Curtly because there are so many folks who would have had their criticisms about Gayle,” added Richards.