Cricket: Chris Gayle to sue for defamation

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

Besieged batsman Chris Gayle is set to play Saturday's BBL derby, having declared his intent to sue Fairfax Media over allegations he exposed himself indecently.

Gayle was fined $10,000 by his BBL side Melbourne Renegades following his controversial interview with Network Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin on Monday night.

The following day Fairfax detailed allegations of a separate incident in the team's Sydney dressing room last year, when Gayle was part of West Indies' World Cup squad.

Gayle's management threatened legal action on Wednesday. They went a step further on Thursday, engaging defamation specialist Mark O'Brien.

"Chris Gayle has strongly denied the allegations first published by Fairfax Media that he indecently exposed himself to a woman during last year's World Cup in Sydney," Gayle's management said in a statement.

"Despite such denials, Fairfax Media continues to publish the false and defamatory allegations which have received widespread republication in media throughout the world.

"As a result Chris Gayle has retained Mark O'Brien, a leading Australian media lawyer to immediately commence defamation proceedings against Fairfax Media."

O'Brien represented former treasurer Joe Hockey in a defamation case against Fairfax last year.

Regardless of his legal action, Gayle's hopes of returning to the BBL could be all but over.
Cricket Australia has the power to essentially veto any BBL player contract.

Some CA officials wanted Gayle to be suspended over his in-game interview with McLaughlin but the Renegades settled on a fine instead.

Gayle told McLaughlin she had beautiful eyes and asked her out for a drink. When McLaughlin attempted to switch the topic back to the ongoing match, Gayle said "don't blush, baby".

He later apologised for any offence, saying it was a "simple joke".

The batsman is expected to open for the Renegades on Saturday, when they host Melbourne Stars at Etihad Stadium.

The Renegades are waiting on the result of a West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) investigation into the incident alleged by Fairfax.

Cricket Australia officials met with West Indies great and team manager Richie Richardson once they learned of the allegations. Richardson relayed his concerns to the WICB.

Renegades chief executive Stuart Coventry described the timing of the woman's allegations as "opportunistic" on Wednesday. Chairman Jason Dunstall is yet to publicly comment on the matter.

Meanwhile, MCG staff confiscated signs carrying the slogan '#StandByGayle' during a BBL match between the Stars and Hobart Hurricanes on Wednesday.

-AAP

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