Former legendary West Indies wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon believes recent social media flare-ups from veteran Windies players Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle are sad but not unusual for players facing the end of their careers with some amount of bitterness.

The 63-year-old former player turned commentator, pointed out that while he did not have insight into the specifics of the situations the phenomena itself is nothing new.  He believes it has, however, been magnified with the advent of the social media age and players being able to share their opinions with the click of a button.

Gayle and Samuels recently garnered the attention of the ‘social media verse’ with blistering tirades against former teammates.  Samuels vented his frustration with current West Indies Test captain Jason Holder, while Gayle reserved his anger for Ramnaresh Sarwan his former teammate and assistant coach at the Jamaica Tallawahs.  The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team did not resign Gayle in the offseason.

“This is not the first time something like this has happened, this goes way back.  In terms of even myself the way that my career ended.  In those days we didn’t have the media like what they have now to voice their opinions,” Dujon told the Mason and Guest radio program recently.

“It’s always sad when someone, people who have been outstanding in one way or the other end their careers on a sour note like that, but that’s the world today, people have the platforms to speak their minds and are more inclined to do so,” he added.

“It’s not nice when people are at the end of their careers and there is that much bitterness, but we have to move on.”

 

The Jamaica Tallawahs have claimed that the decision to not retain Chris Gayle for the 2020 CPL season was strictly business.

The Jamaica-based Hero CPL franchise on Wednesday refuted claims made by Chris Gayle on Monday, that politics and Ramnaresh Sarwan were behind their decision to let Gayle leave for the St Lucia Zouks for the coming season.

Gayle, in a series of videos posted on Youtube on Monday,  suggested that Sarwan, his former West Indies teammate, turned management against him. He said when he refused to back Sarwan’s bid to become team manager, Sarwan sought payback. Gayle called Sarwan a snake and said he was worse than the Coronavirus.

Gayle also said he believes that accepting an invitation from Guyana’s Minister of State Joe Harmon in 2018, also played a part in the decision to let him go.

However, in a statement released early Wednesday, the Tallawahs said Gayle’s comments were far off base and that they are only focussed on rebuilding a team that disappointed during the 2019 season.

“The ownership and management of the Jamaica Tallawahs was disappointed to see the comments made by Mr Christopher Gayle about his departure from the Tallawahs, as we would much rather have had these discussions in private,” the statement said, explaining that Sarwan did not play a role in any decision affecting the self-styled ‘Universe Boss’.

“Mr Gayle gave several reasons for the decision that was made not to retain him in the Tallawahs. However, the truth is that this decision was made collectively by the ownership and management team, which did not include Mr Ramnaresh Sarwan, and based purely on business and cricketing reasoning.”

The Tallawahs also dismissed Gayle’s claim about him being targeted because of perceived political connections.

 “Further, the ownership and management of the Tallawahs have no political affiliation with any political organization in any country of the Caribbean,” the statement said.

“The Tallawahs had a very disappointing season in CPL 2019, where the team finished last in the tournament. The ownership and management team has exercised its rights in the selection of players for CPL 2020 for the betterment of the team.

“The ownership and management of the Tallawahs will not be making any further comment on this matter as we are focusing on building the team for the future.”

The 2020 season of the CPL will be the last for Andre Russell with the Jamaica Tallawahs.

On the eve of his 32nd birthday, Russell, perhaps the most dangerous player in T20 cricket globally, in a rambling speech on Instagram Live on Tuesday night, accused the team’s ownership of poor communication and continued disrespect that helped create the impression that he was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Chris Gayle.

“I have another year’s contract with the Tallawahs and I am going to play and try and win because that is all I play for, but this will be my last because I have been getting mixed up with all these (expletive) that is happening,” he said, “and I can’t be playing cricket and I am not comfortable.

“And I think another franchise that has been coming last and fifth and fourth in CPL will appreciate me more. I am not getting it here.”

Russell revealed that he only heard about Chris Gayle’s departure from the team when the Universe Boss sent him a copy of a report in the Jamaica Gleaner that suggested that Gayle was not going to be retained by the two-time CPL champions and that there were going to changes to the coaching staff.

Rovman Powell was to be made captain.

That information, when combined with recent statements from Marlon Samuels suggesting that Russell must have known about Gayle's departure and Chris Gayle's subsequent comments, gives the impression that he knew what was going on behind the scenes at the Tallawahs when nothing could be further from the truth.

He said in 2019, he was not involved in anything with regards to the Tallawahs whom he said treated him like a player who was making his debut and whose opinion is not valued.

This is despite his decision to play for much less money because he wanted to play before his home fans. “I have accepted a pay cut just to play in front of my home crowd, my family and my friends,” he said.

This year, nothing has changed, Russell said.

“They communicated with my agent. My agent agreed. I agreed with my agent, ‘okay, let we sign’. The only time the CEO (Jeff Miller) or the only time the Jamaica Tallawahs contacted me was to ask me how soon will I sign,” he revealed. “The deadline is that time and can you sign please.”

Russell said when he asked who the team planned on retaining he did not get answers. “Who you guys planning on buying, I don’t get no answers on that. So I just leave it,” he said.

He said he read the newspaper report before he called Gayle and it made him nervous when it said that Floyd Reifer was going to be the head coach.

Reifer had messaged him, he said, indicating that he might be the head coach for the Tallawahs and mentioned plans they have for the upcoming season. However, Reifer suddenly ceased all communication and Miller still was not communicating with him.

During that time, Russell said, rumours began to circulate that Gayle was leaving for the Zouks.

He said his respect for Gayle made him fearful to even approach the ‘Universe Boss’ about whether the rumours were true. So when Gayle messaged him with the newspaper article asking if he knew anything about it, he was stunned.

“I called Chris instantly and I addressed the situation. I said to Chris that the only thing I heard was that Floyd Reifer was potentially going to be the coach.”

However, Russell believes that the fact that Rovman Powell and Reifer are friends and the perception that he knew what was going on behind the scenes, it creates the impression that he was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Gayle.

“Up till now I know nothing that was going on but now it looks like me, Rovman and Floyd Reifer plan up and a get of Chris. Why would I get rid of Chris? Chris has a three-year contract, you’re not supposed to breach your contract,” he said. “I had to address the situation because things don’t look good right now.”

However, this was something Russell said that was a feature of the ownership from the start.

He said when he signed to the Tallawahs in 2018, he had just returned from a one-year ban. The ban was for whereabouts violations after he had missed three doping tests within a calendar year, which under the WADA Code is equal to a doping violation.

He was made captain but, according to Russell, “the way they go about things kinda allowed me to dress back a bit”.

He said when he was made captain he gave the owners a list of the players that he wanted them to sign for the team.  “Overseas players, local players, players from inside the Caribbean. It wasn’t about friends. It wasn’t about Jamaicans,” he said. “I am a guy that plays to win and I have won 13 championships, maybe the only player that has done that, so I don’t play to lose.”

He said he tried to reach out to the owners on the day of the draft and got no reply. However, when the draft was completed they reached out and asked him if he was happy with the team they selected.

He said it took him a while to reply because he was disappointed that they did not communicate with him when he reached out to them. However, his agent urged him to reach out to them and indicate that he still wanted to be captain and that he was happy with the draft.

He concedes that they did pick a good team but it lost in the playoffs to St Kitts and Nevis.

However, Russell believes the owners of the Tallawahs need to change if they are to remain viable.

“We have to do things better for the future,” Russell said, who seemed genuinely disappointed and upset about what transpired between Gayle and Jamaica Tallawahs.

“To deal with Chris Gayle the way that they have dealt with the situation is nothing to do with cricket. It’s more personal.

 “This is going to be an awkward dressing room. It’s going to be an awkward CPL but no one will actually see that when I step out to bat or to bowl while I am on the field because I play to win.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An angry Chris Gayle has described Jamaica Tallawahs Assistant Coach Ramnaresh Sarwan as a snake and a backstabber in a series of videos in which he explains the reasons behind his move from the Jamaica Tallawahs to the St Lucia Zouks for the 2020 CPL season.

T20 cricket will not go away like some purists of cricket have expected. It’s faster, more intense, and for the average watcher, all-a-round more entertaining.

The biggest proponent of this big-hitting genre of the game has been the West Indies’ very own Christopher Henry Gayle.

Gayle has been dominant, setting benchmarks in almost every aspect of batsmanship in the T20 game with heirs to the throne well off the pace.

To date, the big left-hander has been at this T20 game for 15 years.

In those 15 years, his contribution to the growth of the sport has been immense.

Along the way, he has played in 404 games, scored 13,296 runs, smashed 22 centuries, 82 half-centuries and boasts a healthy strike rate of 146.94.

There is nobody close to that kind of body of work and Gayle should be proud.

He’s lasted longer than many thought he would or could and he may have more big innings left in him.

In fact, his last outing for the Chattogram Challengers in the Bangladesh Premier League including a typically destructive 64.

But the truth is, the Universe Boss is ageing and while runs have still come they are few and far between.

I was one of the few who felt Gayle should have been allowed more Test cricket before that option was taken off the table.

I believed that Gayle’s late, but growing maturity, meant he would have been dominant in Test cricket, just as he has been over the last 15 years in T20s, but that horse has gone through the gate and alas, there is nothing more for Gayle to prove.

I learned with deep concern earlier this week that Gayle would be turning out for the St Lucia Zouks in the Hero Caribbean Premier League and while that means I will get to see him live whenever the CPL gets the go-ahead to start, I can’t help but feel I will be disappointed.

The Chris Gayle who I saw at the last CPL, while still a most-impressive cricketer, is nowhere near the man I had been seeing over the last 15 or so years.

There was still the worry for the opposition that he would get off and they would have hell to pay, but there seemed some unsaid secret. The whispers said, ‘yeah he’s dangerous, but he’s not likely to be today’.

I do not want to abide by that. I do not want to see a man I considered a hero in the wake of the retirement of absolute legends like Brian Charles Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, be reduced to being a mere mortal.

His T20 average of 38.20 is quite brilliant, but it used to be higher.

Bowlers are still afraid of him, but they used to be more scared.

Teams used to plan for him as the key to beating a team he played on, they still do but now bank on success.

There has been much talk of Gayle retiring since he seemed to suggest he would do just that after his last World Cup in 2019. It hasn’t happened and while I am glad to have seen some more of this most explosive of enigmas, I am also saddened because I wanted him to go out at the top of his game.

I did not want to see a day when an available Chris Gayle does not make a West Indies T20 side. He is too good a player for that. Yet that day has come.

Two seasons ago, I watched at Sabina Park as Oshane Thomas bowled a quick length ball that crashed into Gayle’s pads. It was the first ball of the evening and my hero, though he played for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the time, was sent packing, beaten for pace.

Gayle is blessed with great hand-eye coordination, but Thomas’ delivery said to me, that is going.

There was a time it didn’t matter how quick you were. Gayle would find a way to hit you to all parts of the ground. That day is past.

Now there have been a number of athletes who have waited too long to call it a day for varying reasons.

For some, they needed those last few paychecks to guarantee their futures, while others just loved the game they had dedicated their whole lives to so much, that walking away was like kicking a heroin habit, nigh on impossible.

I believe Gayle falls into the latter of the two categories. Financial future already secure, I believe Gayle is playing on for the love of the game.

But maybe he should consider something else as well. Maybe he should consider his legacy and his health.

I’ve watched Gayle unable to train because of a nagging back problem. I saw him chase down a cricket ball at Sabina Park and not be able to come out to bat until much later in the innings.

His diminishing ability and health hurts his image but it also hurts his team. Already Gayle’s stocks around the world have plummeted and he is not so sought after anymore.

Before it gets to the stage where he is not wanted by anybody, I ask that my hero calls it a day.

I ask that Cricket West Indies (CWI), as soon as it is safe to do so, give the Universe Boss, a fitting send-off.

Legendary Windies batsman Chris Gayle is expected to suit up for the St Lucia Zouks in the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), having recently not being retained by Jamaica Tallawahs.

The 40-year-old batsman had a rough campaign in a forgettable season for the franchise of his birth country.  Gayle managed 243 runs in 10 matches, second behind Tallawahs scoring leader Glenn Phillips' 374, but one of those matches featured his tournament-high score of 116, registered early on against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. 

The player, who averaged 24.30, failed to get any 50s for the tournament.  Gayle, who led the franchise to title at the 2013 and 2016 editions, had only returned to the Jamaica franchise last season, having left to join the Patriots in 2017.  His return was not a happy one, however, as the team slumped to 8 losses and only managed two wins in a last-place finish.

In February, KPH Dream Cricket Private Limited, Kings XI Punjab's parent company, purchased the St Lucia Zouks franchise and appointed Andy Flower as head coach. Gayle currently plays for Kings XI in the IPL.  The team will be captained by former West Indies T20 captain Darren Sammy, who was pleased to have Gayle on board.

"This is great news for St Lucia Zouks and for me as a captain to have the 'Universe Boss' on my side," Sammy said.

“Chris is one of the most successful T20 batsmen in the world and with his experience with our young openers, a lot can be learned from Chris.”

Former England star Kevin Pietersen has named West Indies six machine Chris Gayle as the greatest Indian Premier League (IPL) batsman of all-time.

Generally speaking, the 40-year-old Windies batting legend has dominated T20 cricket on a whole, scoring more runs (13,296), sixes (978) and 100s (22) than anyone else.  Gayle has, however, reserved a special type of carnage-filled slugfest for the IPL.

 In 125 matches, he has put up a staggering 4484 runs, which is sixth overall but with fewer matches than everyone above him except David Warner.  When it comes to clearing the boundary at the Indian tournament, however, the big left-hander has no equal.  Gayle’s 326 sixes put him 114 clear of second-place AB de Villiers.  With such a prodigious talent to blast the long ball, it’s little wonder the West Indian commands the undying affection of a rabid fanbase.

“Gayle has lifted the IPL for a number of years,” Pietersen told the Uk-based Metro.

“He bats at the top of the order and has brought so much sexiness to the tournament and he has been very smart in the way he has approached his batting,” he added.

“He has seen off some of the good bowlers and against the one he thinks he can hit from Bangalore to Mumbai, he sends them all the way. ‘He creates so much excitement and he has an aura around him when you see him.”

Gayle also currently holds the record for most IPL sixes and the highest individual score in T20 with 175 off 66 balls, which was set at the tournament in 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

Out-of-favour T20 all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has recalled one of his favourite memories was being treated like Chris Gayle when he turned up for an IPL spell in India with Delhi Daredevils, shortly after his success at the 2016 World Cup.

The giant West Indian rocketed to fame after swatting away four straight sixes off England’s Ben Stokes, to lift the Caribbean team to the 2016 T20 World Cup title.  Those types of exploits were of course very much like another big West Indian's, Chris Gayle, who has often thrilled IPL crowds with his match-winning, big-hitting exploits in India.

“Cricket is a religion in India. I remember I was filming Chris (Gayle) being mobbed at the airport. But after the World Cup when I came to play for Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals), the same thing was happening to me,” the 31-year old said in a recent Delhi radio show.

Brathwaite has not quite followed up on the promise of those big heaves over the boundary, in recent years, losing both the captaincy of the West Indies and dropped from the squad.  He was also not selected during the 2020 IPL auctions held late last year, but still hopes to play some part in the tournament.

“Hopefully I will be in IPL in some capacity maybe replacement player or in commentary,” he added.

Due to ongoing global fight with the COVID-19 pandemic the tournament was, however, postponed until further notice.

 

West Indies ODI and T20 captain Kieron Pollard rates his quick-fire 38 against Australia in semi-finals of the 2012 ICC World Cup as one of the best and most important performances of his career.

Chris Gayle is best known for his power-hitting exploits in all formats of the game.

Australia spin legend Shane Warne has named Brian Lara as the captain of the Best West Indies XI he has ever faced, with Chris Gayle named an opening batsman.

The crafty ball-turner has spent some of the COVID-19 lockdown naming best XI’s of players from countries that he has faced.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, it was Lara who seems to have made the biggest impression on the spinner.  Lara had the penchant to be brutal against Australia, who he averages 51 against in Test cricket, and scored a best of 277 in Sydney in 1993.  The innings has often been described as one of the finest ever played in Test cricket.

"Lara and Sachin (Tendulkar) were the two best batsmen of my time, his 277 run-knock against us was one of the best innings I saw him play," Warne said on Instagram.

Also making the cut were Desmond Haynes, who was picked to open with Gayle. Next up was Richie Richardson. The middle-order featured the likes of Carl Hooper, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ridley Jacobs.

The bowling line-up was led by Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh and feature Ian Bishop and Patterson Thompson.

Warne’s XI

Desmond Haynes, Chris Gayle, Richie Richardson, Brian Lara (c), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Carl Hooper, Ridley Jacobs, Ian Bishop, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Patterson Thompson.

 

A comparison between Chris Gayle and Brian Lara, might on the face of it, seem a little silly, but in truth, while Brian Lara is most decidedly the far superior Test cricketer, their ODI records aren't that far apart. 

For instance, Gayle has scored more centuries in ODIs than has Lara with 25 to his name, while Lara has 19.

From just having watched both players, Lara is a genius of unparalleled levels and his class versus that of Gayle's may provide a whitewash for the Trinidad and Tobago left-hander, however, in his prime, Gayle may just have drawn as many excited fans to watch his power unleashed.

At the World Cup where it matters most, Lara scored 1,225 runs between 1992 and 2007. The Prince of Port of Spain had his most productive World Cup in '92 when he scored 333, but was always a heavy contributor with 269 in 1996, 106 in 1999, and 248 in 2003 and 269 in 2007.

Gayle has scored less but not much less, from the same number of World Cups. Gayle has 1,186 runs between 2003 and 2019. He scored 206 runs in 2003, 228 in 2007, 170 in 2011, 340 in 2015, and 242 in 2019.   

With Statistics as close as that, we felt comparing Gayle and Lara, especially in ODIs was fair game. What do you think?

*T20s excluded because of the fact that Lara never got to play much.

Career highlights

BL

  • Highest individual score in Test cricket
  • Fastest batsman to score 10,000 (with Tendulkar/Sangakarra) and 11,000 Test runs

CG

  • Scored the fastest ever ODI double century
  • Highest run-scorer for the West Indies in ODIs