Chris Gayle is one of the most entertaining characters in cricket in the 21st century. He has been a world-class batter in all three formats, establishing himself as one of the greatest batters in T20s with his power-hitting skills.
The southpaw has often been involved in controversies. On that note, we take a look at his three most controversial statements from recent years.
#1 Slamming RCB & PBKS for ‘loyalty’
— Himanshu Pareek (@Sports_Himanshu) January 27, 2023
Gayle is arguably one of the greatest players to have represented the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. He formed an iconic trio with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, but RCB still failed to lift the coveted trophy.
RCB finished last in the 2017 season and released Gayle ahead of the 2018 mega auction without proper communication. They also did not buy the star opener back at the auction, following which Gayle was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz:
“I was their biggest draw. It was disappointing from that end, because they had called me. They wanted me in the team and I was told that I will be retained. But they never called back after that. So that gave me the impression that they didn’t want me and it’s fine.”
He also represented the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the IPL from 2018 to 2021, performing incredibly well even in the final leg of his career. However, he was benched for the entire first half of the 2020 season. Later in 2022, he slammed PBKS for chopping and changing way too often.
Gayle said in the Legends Lounge video on JioCinema ahead of IPL 2023:
“Those two keywords – loyalty and trust – it’s very important. Those two teams – RCB and Punjab – need to learn how to work with those two words.
“#2 Termed Ramnaresh Sarwan more dangerous than Coronavirus
Gayle was involved in yet another controversy in 2020. He was released by Caribbean Premier League (CPL) outfit Jamaica Tallawahs for the upcoming season.
The southpaw believed that his former West Indies teammate Ramnaresh Sarwan had a role to play in his release and termed him more dangerous than Coronavirus in a YouTube video, saying:
“Sarwan, you are worse than the Coronavirus right now. What transpired with the Tallawahs, you have a big part to play because you and the owner are like this. You were the one at my last birthday party here in Jamaica on the platform giving a big speech (about) how far we coming from.”
“Sarwan, you are a snake. You are so vindictive. You are so immature. You still stabbing people in the back. You’re still carrying news. When are you planning to change?”
#3 Inappropriate interview with Times journalist Charlotte Edwardes
Times journalist Charlotte Edwardes interviewed Gayle during the 2016 edition of the IPL. The ace opener was alleged to have asked her provocative questions throughout the interview. He was involved in yet another sexism controversy after flirting with Mel Jones on air while playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League (BBL) 2015-16. Charlotte later wrote:
“Gayle said he had “a very, very big bat, the biggest in the wooooorld. You think you could lift it? You’d need two hands. He asks how many black men I’ve ‘had’, goading me when I deflect the question, and whether I’ve ever had a ‘t’eesome’’ – ‘I bet you have. Tell me'”.
There were doubts looming over his participation next season. Speaking about the controversy, then-IPL chairman Rajiv Shukla said:
“The players must behave. We expect players to adhere to a certain kind of behavior when the tournament is on. Players should maintain the sanctity of the league. These kinds of statements are totally uncalled for in the public domain. I will take up this issue with the president and the secretary of the BCCI.”