Chris Gayle has come out and said that his decision to opt out of the series against Pakistan was invoked by the humiliation he has had to suffer at the hands of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).
The WICB in its official statement did make it clear that it had given Gayle a NO Objection Certificate (NOC) to play for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL because Gayle had himself opted out of the series against Pakistan.
What the statement said was, “Gayle informed the WICB that he had received an offer to participate in the IPL and applied to the WICB for a No Objection Certificate to cover the entire duration of the IPL which clashes with the Pakistan leg of the Digicel Series”.
It further said, “The WICB does not accept Gayle’s reason for making himself unavailable but as he has already clearly made his choice and has traveled to India, the WICB does not wish to stand in his way. The WICB is most disappointed in the manner in which Gayle has handled the entire situation… Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard – made themselves available for selection and agreed to an understanding in the best interest of West Indies cricket.”
“At the conclusion of the Cricket World Cup, Gayle underwent a medical examination in the UK. Following Gayle’s consultation with a UK doctor it was determined that he would require at least 2 to 3 weeks of rest before returning to training. The WICB was surprised to learn that Gayle had been making arrangements to play cricket in India when the WICB was under the clear impression that he was recovering from injury and was undergoing rehabilitation work and about to resume training.”
They further clarified that it wasn’t that Gayle was never in the reckoning for selection and that “The squads for the third, fourth and fifth Digicel ODIs and the Digicel Tests have not yet been selected. It is therefore not accurate, as has been insinuated in some quarters, that Gayle was not selected for the entire Pakistan leg of the Digicel Series.”
However Gayle in his interview to a local radio show has refuted the claims of WICB saying that “I was actually forced to make this decision based on what was happening around me and based on what has happened to players — (Ramnaresh) Sarwan and (Shivnaraine) Chanderpaul.”
He emphasized that after his injury in the World Cup he had to pay for all his expenses for the treatment in Britain till his way back home. He says, “I took it upon myself to commence a rehabilitation programme with my personal trainer. A group of players were selected for a training camp in Barbados, and I never got a call, nobody spoke to me, and I decided to leave it alone.”
“I continued my training programme, and I came to find out via the media that a Twenty20 squad was announced, and a One-day International squad was announced, and I was stunned when I saw a big headline in the newspapers, ‘Gayle, Sarwan, Chanderpaul dropped’.”
He also said that he was humiliated prior to the World Cup when the WICB CEO threatened to exclude him from the WC if he did not sign the contract there would be a stand by taking his place in the squad.
He concludes by saying, “I have served West Indies for many years, but I was disrespected a lot, and I have been playing under a lot of pressure. I’m still the hardest fighting cricketer for West Indies. I go on West Indies field with broken finger and bat on one leg. You know who’s the most hardcore cricketer for West Indies. Chris Gayle. Ask anyone that.”
With this statement he made it quite evident that he was not thinking of hanging his boots at the moment as far as playing for his country was concerned.