Gayle unlikely to figure in squad for India Tests

Gayle unlikely to figure in squad for India Tests

WICB internal meeting today to decide future course of action

Labelled publicly as one to discuss upcoming national contracts, due in three months, the purpose of the meeting, WICB sources indicated, is to further discuss the stand-off between the Board and Chris Gayle. There was a meeting between the governing body and the West Indies Players’ Association on Wednesday that ended inconclusively. In all likelihood, the selectors will also announce the team for the Test series against India, beginning on June 20.

As things stand now, it’s highly unlikely that Gayle will make his much-anticipated return for the India series and for that matter even for the subsequent series against Bangladesh and the return tour to India later this year.

There was an effort to resolve the impasse on Wednesday, when a three-hour meeting was held between Gayle, WIPA president Dinanath Ramnarine, WIPA vice-president Wavell Hinds and board representatives CEO Ernest Hilaire, coach Ottis Gibson, team manager Richie Richardson and Director of Cricket Tony Howard.

The meeting was said to be a stormy affair with both camps engaging in heated arguments, and a WICB source indicated that Ramnarine even threatened to hit Hilaire with a chair. “Ramnarine is not interested at all to resolve the issue. He has a personal vendetta against the board for dropping him from the team during his playing career. He wants to pull the board down at any cost, and he’s using the Gayle episode for his personal gains,” a board source indicated.

“Hinds wanted the issue to be solved in the meeting, and he was ready to look out for a common ground to resolve the issue, but Ramnarine was adamant in his view points, and unwilling to relent,” the source added.

However, the WIPA camp refuted the charges while admitting that the parley was not a cosy affair. “They (WICB) are diverting the entire issue. The real issue here is Chris Gayle and him playing for the West Indies team. WICB wants to end Gayle’s career, and set a precedent that no other player will stand on his views. They want Gayle to withdraw unconditionally the comments he made during a recent radio interview.

“Basically, they want Chris to beg to them for an apology. They were not even ready to answer our basic questions like why they didn’t pick Gayle, and is there any time-frame to resolve the issue,” the source said.

But board sources said they had approached the entire issue with an open mind. “We just had one thing, as we had asked Chris to withdraw all the statements that he had made during the interview. Those statements have been proved lies since then. But even in that context, there’s no case of the board is waiting for an apology, written or oral. Just that Chris has to withdraw his comments in a statement to the board,” the board camp stressed.

With a meeting is scheduled for the morrow, it’s unclear whether the board will ask Gayle to appear. While the WIPA camp is not hopeful at this moment of a positive move by the governing body, the board preferred to keep silent.

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