Yesterday, West Indies batsman, Chris Gayle hit back at his detractors, particularly former West Indies fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, after a war of words broke out recently in Caribbean cricket circles about Gayle’s usefulness in the current West Indies Twenty/20 Cricket World Cup team.
Gayle’s angry outbursts were in reaction to Ambrose’s comments on the Mason and Guest Radio Programme in Barbados last week.
When asked if Gayle was an automatic choice for the West Indies in their opening match of the Cricket World Cup, Sir Curtly said; “No, he is not an automatic choice for me. In the few home series 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. However, he will be at the World Cup, but for me, he is definitely not an automatic choice for starting. 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.”
Yesterday morning, on “The Island Tea Morning Show” in St Kitts and Nevis, Gayle, 42, accused Sir Curtly of seeking attention ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup and said: “I can tell you personally and you can let him know that Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, have no respect for Curtly Ambrose whatsoever. I highly respected him when I came into the West Indies team. When I just joined the team, I looked up to this man. 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 in 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 am finished with Curtly Ambrose. I have no respect, any time I see him I will tell him as well, ‘Stop being negative, support the team ahead of the World Cup. This team has been selected and we need past players to support us. We need that, we don’t need negative energy. In other teams, their past players support their teams, why can’t our own support us in a big tournament like this?
“We have won the tournament twice and we will be going for the third title. The team has seen what is happening. It is going to reflect on the team. If the past players continue being negative, I, Chris Gayle, Universe Boss is going to be disrespectful, disrespectful verbally in their face. In the media as well. I am not going to take anything from any senior player. Curtly Ambrose pull your socks up, alright? Support West Indies, okay? Support West Indies, that is the thing.”
Sir Curtly told Cricbuzz that he needed time to respond.
He said: “I will respond but I want to absorb the things he said, get my thoughts together.
Gayle has not been in the best of form of late. He did not feature in all of Punjab Kings’ Indian Premier League (IPL) matches in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) leg of the IPL, and citing bubble fatigue, he withdrew from his team before they completed the Championship.
The West Indies are the two-time defending champions of the Tournament which starts on Sunday. They automatically qualified for the Super 12s stage and play their first match against England on 23rd October.