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Vincentians come out in support of Chris Gayle

Vincentians come out in support of Chris Gayle


Former West Indies Cricket captain Chris Gayle has received tremendous support for his re-instatement into the regional side by members of the Vincentian public.{{more}}

This support was evident at the One Day International matches at the Arnos Vale Playing Field, between West Indies and Australia last Friday and Sunday.

On Friday, there was vocal support, especially from members of the Party Stand, for Gayle, who has been out of the West Indies since last year’s World Cup.

At last Sunday’s second One Day, the support intensified with the signing of a petition and the display of placards calling for his return.

One of the placard bearers, who was championing Gayle’s cause at last Sunday’s match, Nyron Da Souza, told SEARCHLIGHT: “Quite clearly we need some experience at the top of the order. Right now we do not have that, and Chris Gayle is at best form of his life.”

Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board have been at variance over comments he made on Klass Radio in Jamaica in April 2011.

“Regardless of what was said, he was just responding to what was said by Coach Otis Gibson at their performance at the World Cup that the seniors were not pulling their weight, so he basically said they were not doing things the right way either,” Da Souza said.

Gayle at the time lambasted the WICB for its handling of several matters, including medical issues and Gibson’s comments about senior players’ non-performance in the World Cup.

The WICB has since asked Gayle to retract his comments, which the left handed batsman has refused to do.

Continuing his call for Gayle to be part of the setup, DaSouza stated: “Right now there are four all-rounders in the team, so we need Chris there in the side, if not only to strengthen the batting”.

Also adding his input was Colin Haywood, a staunch supporter of Gayle.

Haywood, who wooed the crowd last Friday with its chants, told SEARCHLIGHT on Sunday: “I cannot see why Chris Gayle has to be left out of the team on the basis of expressing his opinion on some of the problems coming out of the World Cup. Kumar Sangakarra did the same thing, the Australians did the same and nothing came out of it,” Haywood reasoned.

“I am really surprised at the way the West Indies Cricket Board is allowing professional jealousy, Cricket jealousy. The West Indies nurtured him like a baby and Gayle is at his best, and the Board is allowing India, Australia and South Africa to get the best of the man,” Haywood added.

The signed petitions, which numbered several hundreds, are expected to be handed over to the WICB.

To further strengthen the call made by those who are in his corner, Gayle, a 32-year-old left handed Jamaican, was present at the Arnos Vale Playing Field during the second half of Sunday’s match.

The stand-off between Gayle and the WICB grabbed the attention of the Caricom Heads of Government at their meeting in Suriname earlier this month.

The Heads of Government agreed to seek an urgent meeting between the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket (PMSCC) and the WICB before the end of March 2012 to attempt to resolve several issues, including Gayle’s absence from the West Indies team.

Gayle has notched up 91 tests since making his debut in 2000. Gayle has an aggregate of 6373 runs with a highest score of 333 at an average of 41.65.

In the limited overs format, Gayle appeared in 228 One Day Internationals, recording 8087 runs at an average of 39.06.

In Cricket’s most abbreviated form, Gayle has 20 T/20 Internationals, along with 166 first class matches, scoring 12,294 runs.