Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) and other cricket governing bodies to let their voices be heard in standing up against racial injustice.

In recent days, both violent and peaceful protests have swept across the United States as citizens demand justice for the killing of George Floyd.  Floyd, an African American male in his 40s, died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, was recorded kneeling on his neck while he was pinned to the floor for several minutes during an arrest.

According to reports, police had been called to the scene after a convenience store clerk alerted the authorities regarding what he suspected to be a counterfeit $20 bill used by Floyd to purchase a pack of cigarettes.  Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder but protests have continued to boil over as the issue has sparked a larger debate regarding the deep-seated issue of racial injustice.

Many athletes around the world, spanning several generations, have not been shy in making their thoughts known on the issue.  The long list includes NBA greats Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lebron James, and rising tennis star Coco Gauff.  In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi displayed “Justice for George Floyd messages” scrawled on t-shirts hidden beneath their jerseys after scoring.  Schalke’s 21-year-old American midfielder Weston McKennie and Borussia Monchengladbach’s 22-year-old French forward Marcus Thuram also displayed support for the movement.

Closer home the ICC T20 World Cup-winning captain believes things have been too quiet and called on officials to add their voices to the mix.

“@ICC and all other boards are you guys not seeing what’s happening to people like me? Are you not gonna speak against the social injustice against my kind…” Sammy said in a series of tweets.

“Now is not the time to be silent.  I wanna hear u.”

Joining Sammy in speaking out was West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle who also posted a message on social media that advocated for black lives to be considered as important as any other life.

“Black life matters just as any other life,” Gayle’s statement read.

“Even within teams as a Black man, I get the end of the stick.”

The prospect of facing towering West Indies batsman Chris Gayle is enough for most bowlers to break into a cold sweat, not veteran Indian veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh, however, who recently admitted that he never had any apprehension facing the often brutal left-hander.

The 40-year-old Windies superstar is renowned for being an equal opportunity destroyer of all types of bowling attacks and has racked up some big scores in all three formats of the game.  Singh, however, insists that he always had a strategy that was effective in keeping the big left-hander under wraps.

“Warner is very good on the back foot - he will cut you. He can switch-hit, he can sweep pretty nicely, he can hit you over cover. He can step out too. Compared to Gayle, Warner is more difficult for me to bowl to,” Singh told Espncricnfo’s Cricket Monthly.

“Gayle, if someone bowls quick to him, he will keep hitting sixes. If someone bowls slow to him, he’ll have to come out of the crease, which he is not comfortable with. I have never ever felt it difficult to bowl against Gayle,” he added.

 “I have bowled a lot at him in powerplays. He did not have the sweep. He did not have the shot over mid-on.”

The Indian spinner can point to some tangible success against Gayle, having dismissed the West Indian 5 times in One Day internationals, which makes him statistically the third most successful bowler to have faced the batsman in the format.

 

 

Christopher Henry Gayle is arguably the greatest One-Day International batsman the West Indies has ever produced but today his innings in the Ultimate XI ODI edition came up short.

Gayle had, yesterday, avoided the cut and made the final six among contestants vying for the honour of being one of the two best openers the game has ever seen.

According to the SportsMax panel of experts, Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar would form the greatest partnership the game to ever grace an ODI cricket pitch.

That would leave other greats like South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Sri Lankan legend Tillakaratne Dilshan, Pakistan’s Saeed Anwar, and, of course, Gayle as bystanders.

According to the SportsMax Zone, Sharma and Tendulkar are also the best it could come up with from the shortlist of 12, of course, the Zone did not do the culling of the herd the panel did yesterday.

For the unitiated, Rohit Sharma has scored as many ODI double hundreds as there are people who have scored them, while Tendulkar is by far and away, the heaviest ODI runscorer in the history of the sport and their picks may be hard to disagree with.

Unless, of course, you’re a Fanalyst.

Fanalysts have, so far, chosen Chris Gayle as one of their two openers and have also disagreed with the choice of Tendulkar to be the man to join him, instead going for Sharma.

Tendulkar, is at this point, the reserve option for the Fanalysts, but that could all change.

Have your say in the conversation by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner, or following the link here.

Chris Gayle had a relatively quiet start to his international career but eventually established himself at the top in both Tests and ODIs for the West Indies. His aggressive streak sees him fit into the Virender Sehwag and Viv Richards school of batting. He is unstoppable on his day, smashing hapless bowlers, regardless of whether they bowl pace or spin. Gayle built a niche for himself in international cricket: it gets in the zone, the ball usually disappears. Though his average is on the lower side at 37.83, his 25 centuries and 54 half-centuries mark the most by a West Indian, and that is saying much, given that Brian Lara hails from the Caribbean as well. Gayle is also handy with the ball, bowling his gentle offspin from about nine feet up, he has bamboozled 167 batsmen with variations in flight and pace.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Christopher Henry Gayle

Born: 21 September 1979 (age 40)

Place of birth: Kingston, Jamaica

Batting style: Left-handed

Bowling style:   Right-arm off-break

Playing role: Opening batsman

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1999– present)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave      BF          SR       100s    50s     4s       6s     

301      294    17      10480    215    37.83    12019     87.19      25      54      1128   331   

 

Career Highlights

  • Highest run-scorer for the West Indies in ODIs
  • Second West Indies player (after Brian Lara), and 14th overall, to pass 10,000 runs in ODIs
  • Most centuries by a West Indian (25).
  • In World Cup 2015, he hit the fastest ever ODI double century, against Zimbabwe, off 138 balls
  • Is one of just two batsmen to ever score a World Cup double century

Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave believes the development of a ‘culture of respect’ by regional players, and other stakeholders involved in the sport, would serve as a more effective solution than the prospect of broad fines levied against individuals for misconduct.

Recently, disparaging public outbursts directed towards other players from veteran West Indies players Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels has brought the issue of player discipline once again to the fore. In addressing the matter, CWI president Ricky Skerritt had previously expressed disappointment with the incidents.

 Outside of just the latest incidents, however, the region has had a long history of players choosing to air grievances in a public manner.  While some have suggested the implementation of public fines for instances of bringing the sport into disrepute as a solution, things can get more complex when the players are not directly contracted to the CWI.  Grave believes the best solution lies in a cultural shift.

“Individual cricketers that are outside of the framework of our cricket or contractual system can clearly talk openly and freely,” Grave told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“What I’d really want, rather than the ability to punish players, is to be able to create a culture of mutual trust and respect between all the stakeholders.  So, if there are disagreements or disputes, they are appropriately dealt with inhouse, and if we have to agree to disagree every now and again that will happen,” he added.

“I’d much rather have a culture within Cricket West Indies of mutual respect where we are not relying on a code of conduct or punishment.”   

Chris Gayle has apologized for some of the comments made regarding his departure from the Jamaica Tallawahs in three videos posted on YouTube on April 27.

West Indies T20 specialist and former captain of the One-Day International team, Dwayne Bravo had some interesting choices to make during an interview on Cricbuzz, leaving out some big names on a list of five of the best T20 players in the game today.

Bravo, who was interviewed by Cricbuzz’s Harsha Bhogle, was given six players to choose from in each of five rounds of choices and here’s what he came up with.

In the first round, Bravo was made to choose from among Australia’s Matthew Hayden and David warner, India’s Virender Sehwag, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, and the West Indies’ Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle.

Bravo chose Gayle.

The second round saw Bravo having to pick one of India’s Gautam Gambir and KL Rahul, England’s Johnny Bairstow and Joss Buttler, and Australia’s Shane Watson and Chris Lynn.

Bravo chose Watson.

India’s Virat Kohli was lined up against teammate Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina, as well as South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.

According to Bravo, while Raina is his favourite batsman, he would have to go with Kohli.

Up next were India’s Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Yuvraj Singh, Australia’s Michael Hussey, England’s Ben Stokes, and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

Bravo went with de Villiers.

In the final round Bravo had a major struggle with picking from a grouping of India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, and the West Indian pair of Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard.

Bravo eventually went with Dhoni.

So Bravo’s choices as the top-five players today, given the imitations of the choices put to him were Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Given the grouping of choices, is Bravo correct?

 Darren Sammy, the captain of the St Lucia Zouks franchise believes Chris Gayle will be focussed and motivated for the new season set to begin on August 19.

President of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt has strongly hinted that he expects to see action taken against veteran batsman Chris Gayle, following a recent public outburst, which mainly disparaged former teammate and Jamaica Tallawahs assistant coach Ramnaresh Sarwan.

In the now-infamous YouTube post, Gayle accused Tallawahs franchise chief executive Jeff Miller and owner Krish Persaud of "playing a game".  His fiercest criticism was, however, reserved for Sarwan who he accused of having a role in his unexpected dismissal from the franchise.  In the video, Gayle referred to Sarwan as a ‘snake’ and described the former batsman as ‘worse than the coronavirus’.  Sarwan has denied any involvement in the non-renewal of Gayle’s Tallawah’s contract and insisted the assertions made against him were false.

Skerritt, who called the incident unfortunate, said CWI was keeping a close eye on the situation, but insisted that for now the prerogative of taking action would be in the hands of the CPL to which Gayle is contracted.

"It cannot be good for West Indies cricket obviously. It is certainly not something that I enjoyed reading about," Skerritt told Trinidad radio station i955fm in a recent interview.

“If however, a player is contracted to a club or a franchise or to Cricket West Indies, then (due to) the contract they have signed, that kind of behaviour brings that contract to some level of disrepute. So, I would expect that this most recent matter is not over,” he added,

" I think Chris is going to face…I'm sure there's some kind of discussion taking place at the moment between Chris and the CPL because Chris is signed into a franchise team."

The CWI boss, however, went on to make it clear that the CPL still fell within the remit of the regional cricket governors and as such, they would be keeping an eye on the matter.

"If he was on contract with Cricket West Indies, and to a certain extent it is by being in the CPL, so we kind of have a watching interest. But we'll wait and see what happens,” Skerritt said.

While insisting he expected the due process to run its course, Skerritt said he hoped the outburst would not lead to the cricketer’s career coming to a premature end.

"I hope it doesn't become a world matter in terms of the career of Mr. Gayle because it's been a very outstanding career and I really wouldn't want to see it being brought to an end by this event."

Gayle has since joined the St Lucia Zouks.

 

 

The Caribbean has created many of the great cricketers in history and quite a number of them would have been greater still had they not had such keen competition for places in a stacked West Indies side.

A few weeks ago, we decided to have our own West Indies Championship featuring the all-time greatest sides from the region and a mouthwatering contest is set to unfold if you look at the teams we have come up with over the period.

Today we turn our attention to Jamaica, a country that has produced fast bowlers of the highest quality, but also every other type of cricketer you can think of. The country has had brilliant representation at the West Indies level behind the stumps, as well as with the bat.

As is usual, we invite your comments on the team we’ve selected because everybody has their favourites. For the purposes of consistency, we’ve made up the teams using six batsmen, a wicketkeeper, and four bowlers.

On occasion, somebody gets left out who people think it incredulous to do so. Do not hesitate to tell us where we went wrong by commenting under the article on Facebook or on Twitter.

 

BestXI: Jamaica

 

Chris Gayle 180 matches, 13,226 runs, 333 HS, 44.83 avg, 32 (100s), 64 (50s)

Christopher Henry Gayle’s fame and claim to greatness has come largely from his exploits in T20 cricket. However, the tall, powerful, imposing left-hander, even before that was one of the most dominant batsmen in Jamaica’s rich cricketing history. Gayle has scored more first-class runs than any cricketer the country has produced. His 13,226 runs have come at a healthy average of 44.83, only surpassed by Maurice Foster and the colossus of West Indies cricket, George Headley. Gayle has also scored 32 centuries in the format, again, the figure is only surpassed by Headley, who has 33. But Gayle stands alone in the number of half-centuries he has scored, slamming 64 of them.

 

Easton McMorris – 95 matches, 5906 runs, 218 HS, 42.18 avg, 18 (100s), 22 (50s)

Easton McMorris struggled for the West Indies when he got his chances at that level in the early 1960s, but for Jamaica, he was immense, averaging 42.18 as an opener and scoring 18 centuries and 22 fifties in just 95 matches, ending his career with 5,906 runs under his belt.

 

George Headley - 103 matches, 9921 runs, 344* HS, 69.86 avg, 33 (100s), 44 (50s)

George Headley needs no introduction really, his 22-match stint at the very top of cricket is legendary, but as a first-class cricketer, he was even more consistent, averaging nearly 70 over the course of 103 games. He scored 9,921 runs, including 33 centuries and 44 half-centuries.

 

Lawrence Rowe – 149 matches, 8755 runs, 302 HS, 37.57 avg, 18 (100s), 38 (50s)

Lawrence Rowe’s first-class average of 37.57 belies the impact he had on the game in Jamaica and certainly throughout the Caribbean. Crowds would come to regional matches just to see ‘Yagga’ bat. But he wasn’t bereft of runs when his career ended, scoring 18 centuries and 38 fifties from his 149 matches. The style with which he put together the majority of the 8,755 runs he scored was something to watch. According to teammate, Michael Holding, Rowe was the best batsman he ever saw. Unfortunately, Rowe was troubled with his eyesight, as well as an allergy to grass, of all things. That may have spoilt his performances somewhat, but at his best, there was no better batsman.

 

Maurice Foster 112 matches, 6731 runs, 234 HS, 45.17, 17 (100s), 35 (50s)

Maurice Foster was one of the most prolific runscorers in the 1960s and 70s and it was said, his ability to play fast bowling came from his love for table tennis where he was a West Indies champion at one time. In just 112 matches, Foster notched up 6,731 runs at an average of 45.17, only bettered by the great George Headley. In those six thousand plus runs can be found 17 first-class centuries and 35 half-centuries to boot.

 

Collie Smith 70 matches, 4031 runs, 169 HS, 40.31 avg, 10 (100s), 20 (50s)

Collie Smith died at the age of 26, but in that short time, the space between a boy and a man, he managed to score 10 centuries and 20 half-centuries in first-class cricket. Of course, by the time he was 26, his prodigious talent meant he had already represented the West Indies 26 times, scoring four centuries and six half-centuries. For Jamaica, he would play 70 times, amassing 4,031 runs at an average of 40.31.   

 

Jeffrey Dujon – 200 matches, 9763 runs, 163* HS, 39.05 avg, 21 (100s), 50 (50s)

A wicketkeeper averaging nearly 40 is a luxury. But his batting was only part of the story, as Dujon had to keep wicket for the West Indies during a period when it was notoriously difficult. Pace, real pace was hard to react to from behind the stumps but Dujon made his acrobatic catches so commonplace, they ceased to be a thing. At the first-class level, Dujon would claim 469 victims, 22 of those went to stumpings. But Dujon can also be proud of the 21 centuries he put together in 200 matches, as well as the 50 half-centuries that were part of his 9,763 runs with the bat.

 

Michael Holding – 222 matches, 778 wkts, 23.43 avg, 49.9 SR

The Rolls Royce of pace bowling, the man known as ‘Whispering Death’, has claimed 778 first-class wickets, standing only behind Courtney Walsh who had a markedly longer career. Holding would end his after 222 matches and his wicket tally would be taken at an average of 23.43 with a good strike rate of 49.9. A student of the game, Holding would outthink batsmen, even as he delivered with blistering pace that could shock you into doing altogether the wrong thing.

 

Courtney Walsh – 429 matches, 1,807 wkts, 21.71 avg, 47.2 SR

Courtney Walsh took a wicket every 47 balls during his long first-class career. That career would span 429 matches and include 1,807 wickets, making anything any Jamaican ever did with the ball, minuscule. His strike rate was better than Holding’s and so was his average. The stingy Walsh would only give up 21.71 runs for every wicket he took. A generally jovial, charismatic man, with ball in hand, he transformed into a bit of a grinch and is arguably the greatest pace bowler the country has produced.

 

Patrick Patterson – 161 matches, 493 wkts, 27.51 avg, 49.3 SR

Patrick Patterson drove fear into batsmen, even those who claim to like the quick stuff. Patterson, with his trademark shuffle to the crease and that high-lifting boot that would signal what’s to come, was devastating and on occasion, unplayably quick. He would end his 161-match first-class career with 493 wickets at an average of 27.51. His strike rate of 49.3 was also something to behold.

 

Nikita Miller – 100 matches, 538 wkts, 16.31 avg, 48.9 SR

Nikita Miller is the most prolific bowler in the history of Jamaican cricket. In just 100 first-class matches, Miller bagged 538 wickets at an average of 16.31. His strike rate of 48.9 is better than all his potential fast-bowling teammates. Miller has taken 10 wickets in a first-class innings on 12 occasions and also has 35 five-wicket hauls to go with the 36 occasions he took four in an innings. Between 2005 and 2019, Miller single-handedly orchestrated many of Jamaica’s victories. 

On this week’s episode of ‘The Commentators’, Donald Oliver and Ricardo Chambers are discussing Chris Gayle like everybody has.

Blessed with a free-stroking, aggressive style best suited for limited-overs cricket, West Indian Chris Gayle has also had a solid career as a Test batsman.

His 79-ball century at Cape Town in January 2004, on the back of a South African first- innings score of 532, was typical of his no-holds-barred approach.

However, Gayle has also shown the ability to bat long periods and the hunger to make big scores. In 2009 against Australia, Gayle batted almost seven-and-a-half hours in scoring an unbeaten 165 to save the Test in Adelaide; in the very next game, though, he smashed the fifth-fastest Test century - off 70 balls - to indicate that quick-scoring remained his preferred method.

The following year he batted almost ten hours and scored 333 against Sri Lanka and Muralitharan in Galle, becoming only the fourth batsman to score two triples in Tests, thus proving again, his ability to bat long periods.

He is the most capped player for the West Indies in international cricket and is the only player to score a triplet of centuries – a triple hundred in Tests, double hundred in ODIs and a hundred in T20Is.

 

Career Statistics 

Full name: Christopher Henry Gayle 

Born: September 21, 1979, Kingston, Jamaica

Major Teams: Balkh Legends, Barisal Burners, Chattogram Challengers, Chittagong Vikings, D Ganga's XI, Dhaka Gladiators, Dolphins, Hooper XI, ICC World XI, Jacobs XI, Jacques Kallis Invitational XI, Jamaica, Jamaica Tallawahs, Jozi Stars, Karachi Kings, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lahore Qalandars, Lions, Marylebone Cricket Club, Matabeleland Tuskers, Melbourne Renegades, Rangpur Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, RR Sarwan's XI, Somerset, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Stanford Superstars, Sydney Thunder, Vancouver Knights, West Indies Under-19s, Western Australia, Worcestershire

Playing Role: Opener

Batting Style: Left-hand bat

Bowling Style: Right-arm off-break

Test Batting Averages - West Indies (2000-2014)

Mat      Inns     NO       Runs    HS   Ave      BF       SR       100      50       

103      182      11     7214    333   42.18   11970  60.26   15       37       

 

Career highlights 

  • One of four batsmen to pass 300 more than once in Tests
  • One of five West Indians to carry bat in Tests
  • Eighth fastest century in Tests (70 balls)
  • The first player to hit all 6 balls in an over for four in Tests
  • The first player to hit the first ball of a Test match for six

West Indies batting star Chris Gayle remains very much a wanted man in Nepal as the country mulls the possibility of a new date for the Everest Premier League (EPL).

The 40-year-old left-handed ball beater was expected to be the tournament’s biggest star, but things were put on hold due to the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic.  The organisers of the competition are yet to determine the best date for a possible restart but insist the securing the services of Gayle and other overseas players remain very much on the cards.

 “Of course the availability dates for Chris Gayle and other foreign players shall be considered, and shall be put on priority,” said Aamir Akhtar, the league’s managing director.

“We would love to have him in EPL if everything works out. He has a huge fan following in Nepal.”

In January Gayle announced he had signed for Pokhara Rhinos for the fourth season of the Twenty20 competition in Kathmandu.  The West Indian was heading an impressive list of overseas players bound for the competition, with the likes of Mohammed Shahzad, Paul Stirling , Kevin O’Brien, Upul Tharanga and Corey Anderson all due to feature.

The tournament was postponed shortly before its scheduled March 14 start date because of the situation surrounding Covid-19.

 

The Tallawahs management this week rejected Chris Gayle’s attack on them over his exit from the CPL franchise but the Jamaica-based entity is doomed to failure if the fans don’t buy their story.

Gayle labelled Assistant Coach Ramnaresh Sarwan a "snake", "vindictive" and "despicable" as he ripped into retired Guyana and West Indies batsman and the “politics” he said triggered his departure from the Tallawahs.

On the ropes after Gayle’s verbal blows, the Tallawahs issued a terse press release that was too tame to be taken seriously, then stiff jabs by Andre Russell and Sarwan’s Gayle rebuttal 24 hours later hurled the issue into more confusion.

The Tallawahs top brass says omitting Gayle from the Tallawahs 2020 CPL roster was made purely on business and cricketing reasoning but the “business” reasoning seems seriously flawed.

Sabina Park attendance is critical to the franchise’s commercial success and we’ve already seen how unattractive a Gayle-less Tallawahs is to Jamaican fans. Not to mention the possibility of a calculated match boycott in solidarity over any perceived disrespect of a local star, as we’ve seen before in Caribbean cricket.

In April 1992, Barbadians pointedly shunned the historic one-off Test at Kensington Oval against South Africa because an anticipated debut was not given to local boy Anderson Cummins, who at that time enjoyed probably a mere 5% of the immense popularity Chris Gayle commands in Jamaica.

Gayle was visibly hurt in his YouTube outburst as he lashed the Tallawahs and Sarwan.

It was, to me, an unprofessional display by a giant in modern-day cricket but the new age of communicating with fans probably made it easy for him to go that route. His rant though, not only badly tainted his ex-West Indies teammate Sarwan but also soiled Chris Gayle and cricket’s image.

The Jamaica Tallawahs were – based on Gayle’s account – hugely at fault for not communicating with him honestly that they weren’t interested in retaining him for the 2020 season and absolutely nothing in the Tallawahs’ press release refuted Gayle’s charge that CEO Jeff Miller and Owner Krish Persaud failed to inform him that he was not in their plans for the upcoming season.

Gayle, now 40 years old, felt betrayed by an organization that gave him their word and went back on it. Gayle made only a passing mention of this, but it’s also instructive that Miller chose to speak directly with Gayle instead of the standard route of going through his agent.

It is very easy for me to deduce that the Tallawahs’ request – according to Gayle – to take not one or two but three pay cuts, may have been a strategy to frustrate him away from the franchise since they were not brave enough to confront the big-hitting superstar-about releasing him from the deal.

I understood fully the Tallawahs being “disappointed” over the way Gayle went public and I agree with their position to “much rather have had these discussions in private” but that is under normal circumstances and clearly Gayle did not consider the circumstances normal. He felt he was dealing with a group that he could no longer trust.

Did this Jamaican franchise ever consider that Gayle would have needed time to pursue other options if he knew he wasn’t with them? It was on deadline day that Gayle said he was called, not by the Tallawahs, but by a CPL official who did not see his name on the list!

Because of Gayle’s monumental record as a T20 batting star and crowd puller, the St Lucia Zouks snapped him up immediately. Gayle could have been left out-of-contract for the 2020 season because of the Tallawahs’ non-communication.

I am not interested at this point in addressing Gayle’s scathing and toxic references to his “former” friend Sarwan, nor the rebuttal coming from the 39-year-old Guyanese that he had no part in “the decision or the decision-making process” in not retaining Gayle. A lot was said in the narrative from both men and at this stage, it’s one man’s word against the other. Both very wounded by actions of the other. Cricket lost in that exchange.

I became aware very early in my career as a broadcast journalist that while fans worship sporting heroes because of the unbridled joy they generate, these successful men and women on the field of play are human beings like us.

They have imperfections, character weaknesses and limitations that adoring fans will hastily gloss over in standing behind them in times of controversy.

The Jamaica Tallawahs may have been in a position regarding Gayle as some Big Bash and IPL franchises had reached, where his stocks had declined over time, so Gayle being at a crossroad in franchise T20 cricket is not new. He had not been a part of Australia’s Big Bash since 2016 and his IPL standing had been shaken ahead of the 2018 season.

Gayle’s career had been highlighted by some tremendous seasons with Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, including 2012 when he topped the IPL’s batting charts with 733 runs at an awesome 61.80 average and 2013 when he averaged 59.0. But after two moderate seasons, 2016 and 2017, when he averaged a mere 22.7 and 22.2, RCB were no longer interested and he almost went unsold ahead of the 2018 IPL campaign.

The King’s XI Punjab bought him and he showed in 2019 he still had shots to fire with a 40.83 average.

As a privately owned franchise, The Jamaica Tallawahs has to make its own decisions. Under Chris Gayle’s leadership last year, the team played very poorly and finished last with eight defeats in their 10 games. He averaged a moderate 24.30 and his 243-run tally was No.2 on the Tallawahs batting list behind the New Zealander Glen Phillips (374).

By Gayle’s own admission, there was turmoil in the camp as referenced in his caustic YouTube address admitting that he “flipped” in a “very heated meeting” ahead of the last CPL game that “almost got physical”, clear signs there of a dysfunctional team setting. The scale of the clash with Gayle suggesting players were “making fun of the Universe Boss” and mocking him “in front of the younger players” could be interpreted as team damage that’s irreparable.

So, If the Jamaica Tallawahs managers believe that going forward without Gayle is a step toward rebuilding, it is their right, but it should have been done professionally, certainly more skillfully given what Gayle represents to Jamaican cricket fans.

The current world leader in T20 cricket Andre Russell has also jumped in, accusing the Tallawahs of poor communication while angrily announcing he is quitting the franchise after the upcoming season scheduled to start in August.

The CPL has been sold to the Caribbean public as an event with huge economic benefits potentially to the territories, but the truth is that team owners have been struggling over the years and the Tallawahs are heading for even tougher times.

This is not to suggest that the Tallawahs franchise cannot flourish without Gayle because he would have to go at some point, but Gayle’s absence has negatively affected CPL attendance at Sabina Park in the past and that effect would be escalated if the fan perception is that the T20 batting Phenom was disrespected by the Tallawahs owners and management.

Ramnaresh Sarwan has vehemently denied having anything to do with the Jamaica Tallawahs’ decision not to retain for the upcoming 2020 Hero CPL and that he encouraged the Tallawahs’ overseas players to disrespect him.

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