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Has Chris Gayle overstepped the line again or is it simply publicity for his autobiography?


Chris Gayle never learns or so it seems.

The macho West Indian star first made the front pages this year for his infamous ‘Don’t blush, baby’ line to Mel McLaughlin in an on-field interview at the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia.

Gayle escaped with a warning and a stiff fine of AUSD 10,000.

But the smarts just wouldn’t end.

The Jamaican enjoyed rubbing it in naming his newly-born daughter—with partner Tasha—Blush.

Why draw her in into his mess, Chris? 20 years down the line, would your daughter like to be reminded of the circumstances around which she was named so? Go figure.

Trouble goes around in threes.

And there was surely a ‘threesome’ in store.

Chris Gayle pressed down on the accelerator—ignoring speed bumps— when interviewed by Times journalist Charlotte Edwardes where he talked about sex, female equality and homophobia.

Gayle told Edwardes that he had ‘a very, very big bat, the biggest in the wooooorld’  and whether she thought she “could lift itand that she’d need both hands.

The Jamaican embarrassed her further by questioning whether she’s had any black men and been part of a threesome.

The interview touched on other aspects as well.

On women’s equality, Gayle said:

‘Women should please their man. When he comes home, food is on the table. Serious. You ask your husband what he likes and then you make it.’”

“Women should have equality and they do have equality. They have more than equality. Women can do what they want. Jamaican women are very vocal. They will let you know what time is it, for sure.’

On homophobia:

“The culture I grew up in, gays were negative. But people can do whatever they want. You can’t tell someone how to live their life. It’s a free world.”

The timing of the interview could hardly have been more ‘fortuitous’.

Gayle is on the verge of releasing his autobiography, ‘”Six Machine” excerpts of which have been published (where else?) in the Times.

Reacting to Freddie Flintoff’s description of him as a “bit of  a chop” after the McLaughlin incident, Gayle said:

Freddie Flintstone, a young boy like you taking Viagra? Don’t lecture me. The only chop Freddie (Flintoff) knows is when he used to bowl short to me and I would chop him past backward point for four.”

Describing the McLaughlin fiasco, he added:

“Now T20 is different. It’s not Test cricket. It’s chilled and fun and let’s do things different. So when Mel asks me that question I stay in the T20 mind, and answer informal and fun. I meant it as a joke. I meant it as a little fun. I didn’t mean to be disrespectful and I didn’t mean it to be taken serious.

Channel 10’s commentary team could be heard laughing in the background … but someone above them clearly decided to step in, and a throwaway comment in a fun format escalates and blows up and within hours it has turned into a major international incident.

The southpaw had even stronger words reserved for Ian Chappell.

“Ian Chappell, calling for me to banned worldwide, a man who was once convicted of unlawful assault in the West Indies for punching a cricket official. Ian Chappell, how can you ban the Universe Boss? You’d have to ban cricket itself.”

Former Australian opener Chris Rogers was one of his most vocal critics claiming that he set a bad example to his younger teammates.

Gayle responded thus calling him a bit of a “Roger Rabbit”.

He said:

“Chris Rogers, how can you claim that when it was you and me at the bar most nights? I’m not a snitch, but I’ve heard from your own mouth what you’ve done. Next time you want to open your mouth, maybe chew on a carrot instead.”

Is Chris Gayle in trouble yet again? Has he landed in deeper, hotter waters this time around?

His detractors would like to believe so.

Melbourne Renegades have decided not to continue with the T20 star.

This, however, does not prevent any other BBL side from signing him on.

While Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender admitted that he was disappointed with Gayle’s latest blowout, he added:

“But as I’ve said before, we found him to be fantastic the last time he was here, in terms of activities both on and off the pitch.

It’s a shame, because it detracts from his cricketing ability. The fact is, what he has said is inappropriate. But we haven’t had an opportunity to discuss [it] with him. I’m sure we will. But I don’t see it as grounds not to have him playing for us this summer.”

And in India, IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla is taking the matter seriously.

Talking to Times of India, he said:

“The players must behave themselves. We expect the players to adhere to a certain kind of behaviour when the tournament is on. The players should maintain the sanctity of the league. These kind of statements are totally uncalled for in public domain. I will take up this issue with the president and the secretary of the BCCI.”

BCCI’s secretary Ajay Shirke said:

“At this point, we’ll not look into it. We’re focused on completing the IPL, which has reached its final stages. What has happened in this case is between two foreign individuals. It is a personal matter between people who aren’t from India. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that we’ll ignore it. If a complaint is brought to us, we’ll act on it. If it develops into something more, we’ll look into it at an appropriate stage.”

Gayle , in his latest interview, believes that most of the criticism directed his way after the McLaughlin imbroglio was racially motivated.

He says:

“Successful black men are struggling because people do things to put them down. I would say this anywhere in the world, in any sporting arena, right now in 2016: racism is still the case for a black man. Trust me. They just want to get a little sniff of the dirt. They find out some shit and they want to sink you. It’s reality. You have to deal with that as a successful black man.”

Racism has always been an issue in sport.

Henry Gayle was born in a Kingston slum and used cricket as his vehicle to become one of the world’s most beloved and entertaining sportsmen.

Writing for the Guardian, Andy Bull says:

“In the last year the Zimbabwean Test cricketer Mark Vermeulen was banned by his board after he referred to black Zimbabweans as ‘apes’ on social media, while Vermeulen’s old team-mate Prosper Utseya accused that same board of racism in their running of the sport. And several Pakistani players have spoken out about racism in English county cricket, in the wake of the offence committed by Craig Overton. These issues are always there, bubbling under. But it’s rare for a star player to address them directly, as Gayle has just done.

Gayle was talking about something more insidious, about attitudes ‘off the field’, especially, he seems to be saying, among the media. And some aspects of our coverage should make us uncomfortable. As Peter Oborne pointed out in his book Wounded Tiger, the Pakistani team is often subjected to the most ludicrous stereotyping, which has stretched as far as the suggestions, widespread at the time, that certain members of their 2007 World Cup team may have had a hand in the death of their coach Bob Woolmer. Innuendos always swirl when they play poorly, quicker to gather around them than their competitors, though cheating, and fixing, are universal problems.”

Racism is not restricted to the Western hemisphere.

Foreign cheerleaders in the IPL have complained several times about the treatment and slurs they are subjected to by Indian men.

In 2008, British dancers Ellesha Newton and Sherinne Anderson were prevented from performing during a Kings XI Punjab game.

Anderson said:

“An organiser pulled us away. He said the people here don’t want to see dark people. The ‘n’ word was used and they said they only wanted beautiful white girls. We were crying. I could understand if it were the crowd but they were very receptive. This kind of thing has never happened to us – not in Europe, not here, nowhere. “

There have not been any black cheerleaders in any edition of the IPL since.

An unnamed cheerleader in a free-wheeling chat on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything (AMA) had this to say:

“I hate the racism. Why is my team made up of 99% white girls? Why do Indians feel it’s ok to dress white girls up in skimpy outfits but they won’t let their fellow Indian women do it? It’s messed up.

I’ve asked my managers [about why no Indian girls as cheerleaders] and they don’t know. I’ll keep asking around, though, because I’m curious too. They could probably just get good dancers and train them; there’s no shortage of those.”

 

Chris Gayle adds in his autobiography that some people consider him “lazy“.

He writes:

“People think that [my] attitude towards the game stink. That’s how it come across: lazy.”

If Gayle’s indolent, his record proves otherwise.

He has played 103 Test matches in 14 years, scored two triple centuries and is arguably the best T20 batsman in the world.

But playing the race card in this seemingly complicated mess only addles the issue.

Racial discrimination is not the only kind that exists. Women everywhere face sexual biases on a daily basis. To claim that one is better or worse than the other sidesteps the issues raised by Gayle’s nonchalance towards the ramifications of his ‘jokey‘ sideshows.

Discrimination of any kind is to be frowned upon.

To clear things up, one would probably hark back to the rustic retorts Indian women (and defenders of their modesty) dish out to eve-teasers and molesters, “Tere maa, behn or beti nahin hai kya?  (Don’t you have a mother, sister or daughter?) How would you feel if someone dealt with them in the same way?”

No racism about it—just a question of right behavior in a public space.

That, Chris Gayle, is the crux of the matter. Not anything else, not anything more.

 

Marlon Samuels: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Marlon Samuels faces off with Shane Warne.

What he said:

“Maybe I have a real face and he doesn’t.”

Marlon Samuels was not a gracious winner despite his match-winning knock in the World T20 final at Kolkata against England.

The volatile West Indian was quick to let loose a volley at his long-time bete-noire Shane Warne dedicating his man-of-the-match award to the Australian spin king turned commentator.

The duo have a history of clashes dating back to the second edition of the Big Bash league.

Samuels said:

“I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind. Shane Warne has been talking continuously and all I want to say is ‘this is for Shane Warne’. I answer with the bat, not the mic. I played a Test series in Australia (in January 2016) and Shane Warne has a problem with me. Don’t know why. I’ve never disrespected him. It seems that he has a lot inside him that needs to come out. I don’t appreciate the way he continues to talk about me and the things that he keeps doing.”

The facial jibe was a reference to Warne having admitted to using Botox in the past.

What he really meant:

It’s my turn to face the mike. Warney, can you stand the music?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’d really like a bearded and moustachioed Warne, wouldn’t you?”

Shane Warne. At the WACA gound on 15/10/2006 P...

Shane Warne. At the WACA gound on 15/10/2006 Photo taken by me – user:Moondyne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Chatter-box’ Steve Smith finds Virat Kohli ‘too emotional’ to handle (Updated)


Does using an on-field microphone to interact and engage with the telecasters make you a chatterbox?

Virat Kohli certainly thought so when he gave Steven Smith a fiery send-off in the first T20 against Australia.

The Test skipper—relieved of captaincy duties—was back to being the animated fury on the ground he usually is.

The Delhi cricketer is all aggro as a player and mouths expletives at the drop of a hat.

Kohli saw red when his opposing Test counterpart lost his wicket cheaply while commentating live for Channel 9.

Australian viewers were not amused with the manner of Smith’s dismissal blaming the broadcasters for disturbing his concentration.

They took in hordes to Twitter to deplore the broadcaster’s unwelcome intrusion.

What’s really going on?

Do fans really need insights from batters about what’s happening on the field?

This kind of circus is part and parcel of the Big Bash League and the Indian Premier League.

The purported purpose is to make the the viewers and the expert commentators feel part of the action.

It would be better if mic’ing up players was restricted to fielders and umpires. Bowlers and batters need to be able to focus and concentrate on how they’re to be delivering or playing the next ball. Fielding is a much more instinctive chore consisting of reacting to on-field events as they occur. Similarly, umpiring.

Batters and bowlers, however, need to plan and pace their innings and overs.

But what was the actual reason for Kohli’s acrid mouthing off and signing?

Could it be that the Indian was not pleased that Smith was shielded from the banter fielders engage in when rival batters are at the crease?

Kohli has mentioned that he sees nothing wrong with sledging the opposition.

His young Indian side is not known to hold back unlike previous Indian sides.

He said:

“The opposition has every right to sledge as long as it doesn’t not cross the line and you have every right to reply as long as it is doesn’t cross the line. There have been lot of smart comments of late and mine turned out to be a perfectly timed one.

I did not intend to do that. I just said what came to mind. It was actually not far from the truth. That banter is enjoyable but at the same time, you need to focus on the game.”

Sledgers wouldn’t enjoy their choicest jibes drowned out by commentary from the press box.  Why would they? Additionally , they would have to be careful around the boffin with the microphone lest their tomfoolery be caught by the sensitive microphones.

Not much fun for the fielders. The boot would be on the other foot with them forced to be silent around a jabbering Steve Smith.

Can you see the irony in the situation?

And assuming that what the fielders said did carry to Steve Smith, how would he be able to focus with three or more sets of sounds in his eardrums?

Fielders’ banter, experts’ questions, noise from the crowd and finally the sound of his own voice.

That sounds like a lot to take in—even for a man who has scored a mountain of runs in every format over the past two years.

Kohli was the man who had a hand (and mouth) in Smith’s dismissal. Steven Smith was out for 21 off 14 balls caught by Kohli bowled Ravindra Jadeja.

Smith immediately shut up giving no further feedback to the Wide World of Sports commentary team.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni had earlier criticised Spider Cam and intrusion from TV gimmicks.

Spider Cam obstructed Virat Kohli’s first scoring shot in the final ODI preventing a sure boundary. The ball was declared dead.

The operators of this novelty are known to thrust the lens right under the face of departing batsmen hoping to capture their visible disappointment for television viewers. Aussie players are accustomed to such paparazzi-like behaviour from cameramen but Indian players are disturbed and irate.

Dhoni said:

“I am quite a traditional guy. I have always felt that… anything that disturbs the game of cricket I don’t like it. It all started right from the T20 where people would be like, ‘Why don’t you wear a mic?’, ‘Why don’t you wear a camera?’

I have always felt there is a need for balance. At the end of the day it is a spectator sport, people watching on television, but at the same time four runs can matter, especially when it is a close game. Those four runs can be crucial. Everyone gets penalised, why not have the same system for the spidercam? Say, ‘Okay if you get hit, 2000 dollars per hit.’ Let’s make it interesting.

People [broadcasters] are striving for more. When you have got out and walking off, the cameraman goes right under your face. The same way the spidercam is right next to you. You have seen players, they are like, ‘What is happening?’ It makes a lot of noise. At the end of the day it is also about the spectators. If spectators are not there, cricket won’t be played. It is a mix and match; 2000 dollars per hit is a good option.”

Steve Smith called the Spider Cam “his best fielder.”

Smith was unrepentant about his mode of dismissal in the first T20 denying that his on-field commenting had anything to do with his early exit.

He said:

“It [the commentary] was on at the time, but for me it was just a bad shot.

I tried to chip one over the top for two rather than trying to hit him for four or six.

It was my fault and I got to do better next time.”

Of Kohli’s send-off, he added:

“He gets pretty emotional out there, doesn’t he?

I don’t think you need to do that kind of thing when someone gets out.

It’s fine to have a little bit of banter when you’re out in the field, but when someone’s out I don’t really think that’s on.”

Virat Kohli finally disclosed the reason for his heated reaction at Steve Smith’s dismissal.

It had nothing to do with Smith’s on-field commentating but his verbal targeting of young Indian pacers after hitting a boundary.

Kohli felt it added  to the pressure on them and was simply not on. He felt that he had to step in and make his displeasure known.

Hence, the expressive ‘farewell‘.

An open letter to Chris Henry Gayle


English: Chris Gayle on the field at the Telst...

Chris Gayle on the field at the Telstra Dome during an ICC Super Series 2005 cricket match. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Chris:

Say, that was some stunt you pulled the other day on Australian national television during the Big Bash.

While there’s nothing wrong with asking a lady out, there’s something inherently wrong about doing it when she’s going about her job and embarrassing her in front of millions of viewers.

If you really needed a date, you should have walked down to the nearest bar after your game, and tried to chat up someone there.

Did you know Mel McLaughlin that well, that you felt you could do something so crazy and simply laugh it off?

And if you really, really desperately needed to ask Mel out, you could simply have done it on a one-to-one basis in a more private setting.

As for all the cries about sexual harassment, I’ll leave it to the fairer sex to call you out on that.

You were one of my earliest followers on my Facebook page and we were even Facebook friends for a brief while—all this, when I was posting my blog on Bleacher Report (I believe it has some reach in the Caribbean; Mike Hussey followed me on Twitter too but then that’s another story).

Mike Hussey at a training session at the Adela...

Mike Hussey at a training session at the Adelaide Oval (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So what’s the real story, Chris?

I was one of your supporters when you were having trouble with the West Indies Cricket Board. I couldn’t believe that the West Indies could leave out a player who has two triple centuries in Test cricket. It’s not as though the West Indies have been churning out Brian Lara clones since his exit from the game.

“Don’t blush, baby,” really, that’s all you had to add after your public gaffe.

And what’s this crap about “pockets empty” on Instagram, the fine of 10,000 Australian dollars is just a drop in the ocean for you. You deserve it, man.

Pockets are empty so @djbravo47 paying the dinner bill tonight … Let's roll DJ. #Champion

A photo posted by Chris Gayle (@chrisgayle333) on

There was a time when you were flirting with the idea of publishing an autobiography but then decided against it.

I agreed, then, that it was a bad idea best left until you retired from the game. After all, why rile your colleagues while you’re still playing? Besides, you still had some good years in you.

Well, Chris, you’ve irritated a lot of your fans now and can surely do better.

I’m sure that your autobiography will be much awaited when it actually hit the stands.

Your fans would all like to know what actually makes Chris Henry Gayle tick—like this.

Sincerely,

A disappointed fan.

Googli Hoogli: Jacquie Hey invades Cricket Australia’s male bastion


Brett Geeves: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


BRETT GEEVES

"My back’s about as stable as the Egyptian government.”

Australian fast bowler,Brett Geeves,announces his retirement from first-class cricket. He joins the growing legion of pacers who feel that their bodies cannot cope with the non-stop nature of the game. The toil and rigours defy the laws of bio-mechanics.

What he really meant:

“My back’s had it, mate. As for the Egyptians, they’re all crying: “Mummy!”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’m off to play cricket in Cairo.”

Stuart Clark: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


Chris Gayle on the field at the Telstra Dome d...

What he said:

“"I can categorically say we won’t be paying Chris Gayle one quarter of our salary to come and play."

Sydney Sixers general manager, Stuart Clark, makes it clear that it is unlikely that his side will spend a quarter of a million dollars on the West Indian opener for the Big Bash league. Each side is restricted to a salary cap of one million Australian dollars.

What he really meant:

“We can’t afford free agents like Chris Gayle—not at those prices. Our focus is local.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“We’re discriminating against Chris.”

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