Cricket West Indies (CWI) boss Ricky Skerritt says Chris Gayle will likely be penalized by the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for his public tirade against his former Jamaica Tallawahs franchise and its assistant coach Ramnaresh Sarwan.
Although describing the controversy as “interpersonal battles” being fought in the public eye, Skerritt said Gayle, who has been signed to St. Lucia Zouks for the 2020 season, had brought the CPL into disrepute.
“I’m sure there is some kind of discussion taking place at the moment between Chris and the CPL because the CPL has rules which will come into view here because Chris is signed into a franchise team,” Skerrit said on i95FM Sports.
In a series of video posted on his YouTube channel late last month, Gayle was highly critical of Sarwan, his former West Indies teammate, describing him as a “snake” and accusing him of conspiring to get him released from the franchise. The 40-year-old also claimed that the Tallawahs management had been “playing games” with him, and had cut him from the squad without any notice, although he still had two more years left in the three-year contract and had agreed to a pay cut.
Sarwan subsequently said the allegations were false and scandalous; while Tallawahs said the decision not to retain the T20 batting star did not include Sarwan and was “based purely on business and cricketing reasoning”.
“It’s certainly not something that I enjoyed looking at or reading about…. I think Chris clearly has a number of concerns on his mind and he decided to go public. Personally, I think that was unfortunate but the process will have to take its course and that process will get triggered because he is a contracted player in the CPL within the West Indies league,” Skerritt said.
“If a player is contracted to a club or a franchise or to Cricket West Indies…that kind of behaviour brings that contract into some level of disrepute. So, I would expect this most recent matter is not over. I hope it doesn’t become a world matter in terms of the career of Mr Gayle, because it’s been a very outstanding career and I really wouldn’t want to see it brought to an end by this event.”
Skerritt added that the regional governing body for cricket was paying close attention to see how the CPL would handle the matter.
“We kind of have a watching interest but we will wait and see what happens,” the CWC president said.
Although stressing that he was neither condoning nor judging Gayle, Skerritt said the cricketer’s outburst did not reflect the person he had known for many years, and the public disputes were disappointing.
“I happen to have been fortunate to be around Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Wavell Hinds, [Ramnaresh] Ronnie Sarwan, when they were just starting out their careers. These are guys who are all lovers of cricket, they really love the idea of putting on the maroon colours, and along the way things have happened,” said the former West Indies team manager.
“I am not a psychologist nor am I a historian, all I can tell you [is] it’s very disappointing to see players who were such great teammates, who have played so well together at times, carried the West Indies pride on their back and so on, that these kinds of exchanges are taking place.”
Skerritt admitted that the disputes were not good for West Indies cricket, but said he was hoping the environment CWC was creating – the rebuilding of trust between administrators and players; the fairness and the openness and the transparency of the selection process now in place; the welcoming of dialogue between selectors and players, etc. – would eliminate such incidents in the future.
“This all has to continue at a rapid pace so that players, in their anxiety and disappointment and distrust and disbelief and all of the mental upset that they face, that becomes minimized and they have no reason to lash out publicly,” the he said.