Gayle breaks his silence
Bridgetown - Chris Gayle has finally broken his silence on his long feud with the West Indian Cricket Board, dismissing suggestions he did not want to play international cricket and laying the blame with the board.
The former Test captain released a long and emotional statement saying he had wanted to resume his international career but his attempts to reconcile with the board had been fruitless so he had been forced to go elsewhere.
"I have now reached the stage where I have to say that enough is enough," he wrote in the statement.
"I have come to the bitter realisation that I am not wanted by the board and all that has gone before in terms of reconciliation is a sham and a mockery.
"I see it as a scam to fool the people of the West Indies and the world into believing that they were serious about my returning to West Indies cricket."
Gayle, an explosive opening batsmen, has played 91 tests, scoring two triple-centuries, and 223 one-day international for West Indies.
He was not selected for the current series against India and on Thursday, the 31-year-old announced he had signed for Sydney Thunder in Australia's revamped domestic Twenty20 tournament.
"My eyes are open, my heart is clean, my conscience is clear and the voice of reason is loud in my ears telling me that I should close this chapter in my life," he said in the statement.
"I am not going to be the WICB's whipping boy. They have said they will root me out and they have succeeded in doing so by using underhanded tactics while attempting to ascribe blame to other people for what is clear is a well planned set of action.
"Despite all that has happened I am still hopeful that good sense will prevail and I would once again represent my country and my region in near the future.
"I wish to make it abundantly clear that I have not yet retired from any form of the game and remain available for selection for both Jamaica and West Indies. However, this is entirely out of my hands."
West Indies coach Ottis Gibson, speaking at a news conference after the fourth day of the second test against India on Friday, said he recently spoke to Gayle and explained to him what he needed to do to rejoin the team.
"What Chris wants to say is up to him. It's a board matter now. The board is dealing with and Chris knows that," Gibson said.
"We are trying to build a team, a team that is competitive and starts to win. Everyone has a part to play in it, including Chris Gayle, if he chooses. He knows the score, but he's choosing his own path."
Gibson, who had been a strong supporter of Gayle, said his absence was not a factor in the team's preparations and the players were keen not to let it distract them.
"I can assure you we don't sit down at our team meetings and discuss Chris Gayle," Gibson said.
"We discuss playing India and how we're going to get (Rahul) Dravid out, and how we're going to get (Vangipurappu) Laxman out and how we're going to stop (Ishant) Sharma from getting six wickets in the second innings and how we're going to go about winning the Test match. We don't talk about Chris Gayle."