That’s what is trending
The back and forth among some of our regional cricketers, namely Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan, where they have been engaged in verbal tirade, has left the already damaged image of West Indies cricket even more disfigured.
One may quickly say that what has gone is bad and cannot get better. Others though would just brush aside the episodes with oblivion.
And, there are those who would say that it matters not, because there is nothing that is worth commenting on or wasting precious time and energy, as it relates to West Indies cricket.
But it was the Gayle Youtube video that sparked the furore. With Sarwan implicated in the melee, and he responded, refuting Gayle’s allegations.
Gayle, with his usual flamboyance, did not spare a moment to belittle Sarwan, although they shared many moments as teammates with the West Indies team.
All in all, Sarwan came out smelling like a rose, as he did not go down into the dirt, and tried as much as possible to keep his poise and traverse the moral highway.
Again, Gayle choice of going public with a matter which involved him being released by the Jamaica Tallawahs franchise, was another instance in which the use of social media by our sports people, and some may dare to say, cricket celebrity, has been abused.
He Gayle though, is not alien to this sort of controversy, or this type of public exhibition which has caught the attention of scrutiny, as he has been involved in numerous over the years.
The self-acclaimed “Universe Boss”, Gayle, with all he has done for West Indies cricket, continues to devalue those efforts.
For a man at age 40, who is still being sought after by T/20 franchises around the world, speaks volumes of his skills and appeal as a cricketer.
How much would his latest spat with Sarwan injure his reputation and career, which is into its twilight?
Gayle’s stats in cricket shows his value in all formats of the sport.
No one needs to question Gayle’s ability in the wicket as a batsman. This, as he has accumulated over 13,000 runs in the T/20 format, over 10,000 in ODIs and in excess of 7,000 in tests.
These figures line up with 22 centuries in T/20, 25 ODI centuries and 15 at the test level.
Apart from his batting feats, Gayle has been able to mint a fortune from his God-given talent in cricket, and has put his proceeds to good use.
Accolades and fortunes have little value if the corresponding decorum cannot be upheld with any sort of values driven acceptance.
Unfortunately, the way things are trending today, Gayle’s actions would be seen by some of the upcoming sportsmen and women, as just his way of venting his feeling.
It will simply go down as something aligned to his natural tendencies and akin to his demeanour.
Sadly, there would be no condemnation or consequences, as the demigods of sports are sometimes revered to the extent that they get away with impunity.
Moreover though, what was also revealing in the Gayle versus Sarwan exchange, is the lack of maturity and the concern for the future generation of West Indian cricketers.
Are those that narratives that cricketers who wish to fill the boots of the current crop would like to have as references?
Budding cricketers, not only those from the Caribbean, but those from other parts of the world who look up to Gayle, may believe that once you have some accomplishments attached to your name, then anything goes.
Hopefully, there will be the conscientious ones who would dissect and discern such episodes as those involving Gayle, and come away morally correct – that he was wrong.
Therefore, the message that should be transmitted to those sportsmen and women who have stardom on their radar, that great achievements cannot be substituted for perennial indiscretion and callous public displays.