KINGSTON: West Indies batsman Chris Gayle said he stood by his comments over feelings of resentment at his exit from the Jamaica Tallawahs team in the Caribbean Premier League.
A three-member independent tribunal had been looking into Gayle’s comments, made in a YouTube video on April 27, where he had made clear his displeasure at being abruptly ousted by Tallawahs for the 2020 season.
In the statement, Gayle admitted that his description of former West Indies teammate Ramnaresh Sarwan as “worse than the coronavirus” were “damaging”.
Gayle was released by the Twenty20 franchise last month and the opener held assistant coach Sarwan responsible during a 15-minute video posted on his YouTube channel. “Right now Sarwan, you are worse than the coronavirus,” said Gayle. “You are a snake, you are so vindictive still immature, still stabbing people in the back.”
Gayle attempted to draw a line under the controversy after being summoned to explain his comments. “I made these videos with one single intention – to explain to the fans in Jamaica the reasons behind what has now become my second departure from the Tallawahs franchise,” he said in a statement.
READ MORE: Chris Gayle calls former teammate ‘worse than coronavirus’
“It was my greatest wish to finish my CPL career in Jamaica, playing in front of my home crowd at Sabina Park with the franchise that I had previously led to two CPL titles. In so far as my resentment at the treatment, I stand by my comments in those videos. My words were spoken from the heart,” he said.
Gayle admitted that such remarks may be viewed as being damaging to West Indies cricket and the CPL tournament. “It was never my intention to damage the T20 Tournament, as playing in the CPL has guaranteed an opportunity for the past seven years to play in front of the great fans of the Caribbean. This is a privilege which I genuinely appreciate and have never taken for granted.”
Gayle has joined the St Lucia Zouks for this year’s edition of the CPL starting in August. He led the Tallahwahs to the title in 2013 and 2016, and then after a spell with St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, he rejoined the franchise last year.
Although Gayle scored 116 in his second game, he managed only 243 runs in 10 innings as the Tallawahs finished bottom of the table. Gayle spent much of his Test career in the same West Indies side as fellow batsman Sarwan who retired from international cricket in 2016. Gayle has not played for the West Indies since last year’s World Cup.