GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
Under-fire West Indies batsman, Chris Gayle, hit back at the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) yesterday, calling on the body to publicly explain what statements he needed to apologise for or retract.
The combative Jamaican, currently leading his country in the ongoing Regional Super50 Series, said the WICB had failed to reveal the nature of his transgression and was now making "a big issue" out of the affair.
Gayle was responding to a decision by the WICB mandating him to withdraw highly controversial comments, made during an interview with a Jamaica radio station following the World Cup earlier this year, before he could be considered for selection again.
"They need to put out, to apologise for what. They need to state clearly what Chris Gayle should apologise for rather than keep saying they don't want an apology, they want me to retract statement now," Gayle said yesterday.
"They need to come clear and say what Chris Gayle should apologise for and what should Chris Gayle retract, what are the terms, really and truly.
"So they need to make it clear rather than stating just one particular thing and leaving the public to speculate again, and just make this one big issue which I'm tired of, so they need to just cut it out now."
The WICB broke their silence last week to announce the decision on Gayle, which was taken at a recent board of directors meeting in St Lucia.
Resolving the matter
Several attempts to resolve the matter ended in failure, including a high-level meeting in Jamaica that included Gayle, WICB officials and representatives from the West Indies Players Association (WIPA).
"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 statement said.
The WICB did not specify, however, which statements they wanted Gayle to retract, and Gayle remained adamant he needed to state what these comments were.
"What in the interview exactly (should I retract). State what in the interview I need to retract or apologise for," Gayle urged the WICB.
However, the board said it viewed Gayle as a 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".
Gayle has gone on record as saying he would not apologise for his comments, some of which were critical of the WICB and head coach Ottis Gibson.