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Rein him in!

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In a blind man’s land, a one eye man is King. So true. In a time when West Indies Cricket is at its lowest, Captain Chris Gayle is having a field day.

Gayle, in my estimation, has taken the once noble responsibility of the leadership of the regional side to its lowest state in my lifetime of following West Indies Cricket.{{more}}

I am of the old school type, hence, I find it difficult to accept the modern codes of conduct. Gayle’s demeanour, deportment, overall approach to the job, coupled with the “don’t care” attitude that he sometimes exhibits do not augur well.

Yes, he is an example of the 21st century outlook. Also, we all appreciate the fact that by nature, he is an easy going person, and that his health conditions do not allow him to become too excited.

Yes, also, he is Jamaican, and he brings with him certain cultural traits which are distinctively Jamaican, but the line must be drawn. Jimmy Adams and Courtney Walsh, recent West Indies captains, are Jamaicans, too, but Gayle pales in comparison to the two.

Fundamentally, there are certain core values that Gayle lacks. His wearing of the number 52 jersey at the Stanford 20/20 for US$20 Million in Antigua and Barbuda earlier this month, which he said was solidarity with his sidekick and fellow Jamaican Marlon Samuels, who is serving a two year ban for match fixing, makes one cover his or her head in shame at a captain condoning wrong. One then further questions his stance granted that he (Gayle) remained in India with Samuels, after the alleged offence was committed with the bookmaker.

The transgressions of Gayle are mounting. It is almost unforgiving for Gayle to be wearing a do-rag under his helmet during the just concluded one day series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi. Fashions come and fashions go. Accepted. But when some fashions depict an image that contravenes acceptable codes on conduct, and more so, sends the negative message, then there is cause for concern.

Liberal, one may say, and trends of current day generations, but when it erodes the standards set by the trail blazers, then the eject button must be pushed.

One did not want a more open minded captain than Vivian Richards, now Sir Viv, but he exemplified diplomacy. Sadly, Gayle does not possess such in his system. In short, he does not fit the bill, but he is a mirror image of West Indies Cricket.

He curses the West Indies Cricket Board(WICB) at will. His outbursts earlier this year over selection of some players and the whereabouts of an extra player needed for a One Day international, although having some merit, were done without tact, and came over blunted with disrespect.

Gayle also took a verbal swipe at former selection panel headed by Gordon Greenidge, yet he was not made to pay, at least by public knowledge.

His open disagreement of curfew restrictions, then as an ordinary team member, on a tour of England some seasons aback, added to the list.

Gayle made a grand charge recently at resigning from the captaincy, only according to reports, to be pampered, to re-consider his position.

Gayle’s flimsy outlook on the game was demonstrated in his response to Jamaica’s loss to Trinidad and Tobago, in the final of the regional Stanford 20/20 competition, in which he and his team member still became millionaires.

Gayle is allowed to have a free parade in intransigencies. But who will do so?

The WICB lacks the moral authority to rein him in, as they, too, are equally infantile in their conduct.

Gayle’s unchecked behaviour follows the pattern in which the West Indies Players Association (WIPA), Allen Sanford, sponsors and others are just tugging the strings of the WICB.

The West Indies captaincy, and team members for that matter, I am certain, have guidelines for conduct, but Gayle is stretching the parameters to the extreme, and is setting the precedence for future captains of the regional outfit.

This being the case, then better days are not surely coming, neither in results or statesmanship.

But better days will come to the Sion Hill Playing Field, once that rejected obstruction, the Mound, is removed.

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