West Indies Cricket: Is Chris Gayle Mascot for Free Agents Everywhere?

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West Indies Cricket: Is Chris Gayle Mascot for Free Agents Everywhere?
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
Chris Gayle

What will Chris Gayle do? What can he do?

The West Indian bat is not forgiven by the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB).

“It’s our way or the highway” was the message to the Jamaican all-rounder in the latest meet between representatives of the WICB and the West Indian Players Association (WIPA) called to resolve the differences between Chris Gayle and WICB.

As of now, Chris Gayle is a free agent allowed to ply his trade in T20 leagues around the world, much like  Andrew Symonds.

The highlight of the news releases from the two warring sides was that the meet was an acrimonious one with the WIPA president, Dinanath Ramnarine, lifting his chair and threatening to rearrange body parts of Board CEO, Ernest Hilaire. Talk about throwing your full weight behind your man.

Is Chris Gayle concerned? Or is he more interested in continuing his IPL exploits in the Sri Lankan T20 league in August?

Chris Gayle, in a free-flowing interview to KLAS Sports  Radio in April 2011, had lambasted WICB for the Caribbean side's poor performance in the World Cup. Gayle claimed that the only reason he was given a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for IPL was a possible "Restraint Of Trade" lawsuit.

He then said that the contract offered him by WICB was overly restrictive in that it would tie him down not just at the national level but also to Jamaica and his local club. That was just not acceptable to the Jamaican.

The WIPA believe that the WICB is intent on ending Chris Gayle's career setting a disciplinary precedent.

With no time frame given by the board to settle the issue, the Test series between India and West Indies loses even more of its sheen.

The conflict highlights the growing angst amongst cricketers everywhere who are concerned about their livelihood and forced to juggle club, state and country commitments with little or no respite between assignments.

A professional sportsman has a short shelf-life and has little opportunity to learn another trade whilst turning out for state and country. The mushrooming of T20 leagues over the globe is a golden opportunity for cricketers to secure their futures without having to depend on the often callous munificence of their respective cricket boards.

Can you blame them if they seem a trifle hard-headed in dealing with their respective administrative bodies? Are there easy answers to hard questions?


Quote of the day:
Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't . ---Mark Twain

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