CWI has 'quiet word' with Gayle, Sir Curtly to cool spatSaturday, October 23, 2021
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Cricket West Indies (CWI) has intervened in an attempt to cool tempers, following veteran Chris Gayle's broadside levelled against legendary former fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose.
In an explosive tirade during a media interview, Gayle said he no longer respected Sir Curtly, accusing the Antiguan of being too “negative” in his assessment of the West Indies team and “looking for attention”.
Sir Curtly had earlier this month said Gayle was “no automatic choice” in the West Indies XI for the Twenty20 (T20) World Cup due to his recent poor run of form.
“We tend to deal with these things privately in-house. We've spoken to Sir Curtly and to Chris and it is unfortunate and not something we want to see,” CWI chief executive Johnny Grave told Starcom Radio's Mason and Guest.
“We massively respect both individuals and it's not something we want to encourage. Sir Curtly is obviously working with our Under-19s as our coach and Chris is currently with the team, and we'd much prefer everyone focus on the cricket and rallying behind the team and talking positively about us going to defend our world title.
“But things get said and we've had private discussions with them and, hopefully, we can focus on the cricket come Saturday.”
Reigning champions West Indies take on England in today's opening match of the Twenty20 World Cup in Dubai.
Sir Curtly's comments came against the backdrop of Gayle's controversial inclusion in the T20 World Cup squad, despite averaging 17 from 16 T20 Internationals this year and recording a single half-century in the last five years.
Gayle, who turned 42 last month, struggled badly in the recent Caribbean Premier League, averaging a wretched 18 from nine appearances.
Against that backdrop, Sir Curtly told Mason and Guest: “He is not an automatic choice for me. The few home series [in which West Indies] just played, he had no scores of significance, and I have said before that, if he did not do well in those home series, he should not go to the World Cup.
“If he gets it going on the day, he can be destructive, but he has not done much in the last 18 months or so to really make me think he will set the World Cup alight.”
An upset Gayle subsequently lashed out at Sir Curtly in an interview with a St Kitts radio station.
“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,” Gayle said.
“So I am just giving back the attention which he requires and which he needs.
“I am finished with Curtly Ambrose. I have no respect for him whatsoever.”
Grave said, while there was no need for disciplinary action, CWI hoped relations between players and ex-players could remain healthy for the sake of West Indies cricket.
“We've not taken any disciplinary action against anyone. We've just had a quiet word with both of them,” Grave explained.
“We want to see all the players talking positively about West Indies cricket, on and off the field. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course.
“Hopefully, it is an incident that has happened, there's nothing we can do about it. We don't want to see it happening all the time. We want everyone to respect each other on and off the field.”