Cricket: Email confirms West Indies knew of misbehaviour at the Cricket World Cup

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

An email purportedly sent to all players by team manager Richie Richardson is the potential smoking gun in a legal defamation case launched by Chris Gayle against an Australian media outlet.

Although the email does not name the controversial Windies and Melbourne Renegades batsman Gayle, it does confirm concerns were raised about the treatment of a woman working around the team in Sydney.

Fairfax Media reported that the email from Richardson to team members said: "In the past few days, **** **** has encountered a few uncomfortable situations with members of the team. Please, at all times, treat her in a professional and respectable way."

Gayle has hired a high-profile defamation lawyer to take legal action against Fairfax Media following publication of a report he says wrongly claimed he exposed himself to an unnamed woman in a team dressing room.

Mark O'Brien, who only last July won a case against Fairfax and forced them to pay A$200,000 in damages to former Treasurer Joe Hockey, is representing Gayle and renowned as being one of the toughest and most aggressive defamation lawyers in the country.

Those close to Gayle say he is seething over the news report and will pursue the case vigorously.

Considering Cricket Australia will stop Gayle from partaking in future Big Bash tournaments due to his behaviour in his sleazy interview with Channel 10 reporter Mel McLaughlin earlier this week, the West Indian batsman now has few bridges left to burn and is expected to pursue the matter to its end.

The key man in potentially verifying or discrediting the claims made in the Fairfax Media article is former Windies great Richardson.

However, the added complication in any investigation taking place is the fact that yesterday was virtually Richardson's last day on the job in West Indies colours.

He is taking up a position as an ICC match referee and his first assignment looks set to be the one-day series in South Africa when the Proteas take on England.

Richardson and Windies' management are under strict instructions not to talk about the Gayle matter and if any statement was to be made, it would be coming from home base in the Caribbean.

It's unclear what impact, if any, Richardson's departure to the ICC will have on any West Indies Cricket Board investigation.

The ICC are refusing to investigate the claims, despite them allegedly taking place in the lead-up to their own World Cup tournament in Sydney.

At this stage, Gayle is still due to play for the Melbourne Renegades in their clash with the Stars at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Those close to Gayle are confident he will see out the rest of the season with the Renegades.

The besieged Renegades went to ground yesterday with chairman Jason Dunstall refusing to comment about chief executive Stuart Coventry's predicament.

Coventry was quoted in a report suggesting the woman who made allegations against Gayle was being "opportunistic" in coming forward.

The unfortunate remark infuriated Cricket Australia, particularly given the CEO had previously made a couple of gaffes in his original press conference on Tuesday when talking about Gayle's behaviour towards McLaughlin.

- news.com.au

- NZ Herald

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