Cricket: Chris Gayle still in demand despite controversy

Chris Gayle in his interview with Mel McLaughlin. Photo / Getty
Chris Gayle in his interview with Mel McLaughlin. Photo / Getty

While it looks like Australia's Big Bash will show Chris Gayle the door and ban franchises from signing him in the future, the controversial West Indian batsman remains in demand from overseas teams still apparently keen to fuel his back account.

English club Somerset have confirmed that they remain 'interested' in re-signing Gayle, in spite of the negative reaction to his recent interview with Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin.

The 36-year-old has received widespread condemnation for McLaughlin on a date during the interview.

'To see your eyes for the first time is nice. Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don't blush baby', he said

He has since been disciplined for 'inappropriate conduct' and fined $10,700 by his Australian club, the Melbourne Renegades.

It has since emerged that Cricket Australia intends to ensure Gayle does not play in the Big Bash ever again.

But despite the furore, Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender said he is keen to re-sign the flamboyant batsman.

Gayle enjoyed a brief, but extremely successful, spell at Somerset last season scoring 92, 151 not out and 85 not out from just three games, hitting a staggering 29 sixes.

Lavender said: 'At present, we would be keen to re-sign him.'

He did admit the comments were 'completely inappropriate' but said the club will not get carried away by the controversy.

'He has apologised and been punished for them, and once that process has taken place we all need to move on and take a reasonable perspective' Lavender added.

But with Australian player Chris Rogers also at Somerset, the atmosphere in the dressing room could be interesting.

Rogers, who played with Gayle at the Sydney Thunder franchise, led the criticism of his former team-mates when he told ABC Grandstand in Australia: 'From my time at the Thunder I was very disappointed in his attitude and his behaviour. I've never been a fan since.

'I would go out with him socially in a group, as you do in a team and I'd probably distance myself from him.

'I was very wary of the role he was setting for the young guys and I spoke to them quite a bit; 'Do you think this is good behaviour? Would you do this kind of thing?' And all of them, to give them credit, were like 'no, we don't think this is right'.'

- Daily Mail

- Daily Mail

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