Former West Indies Cricketer Ramnaresh Sarwan has responded to the allegations about him made by Chris Gayle earlier this week, denying such allegations, and terming the outburst as ‘disappointing’.
In a Facebook post about the whole incident, Sarwan came up with his own clarifications. He wrote, “Christopher Gayle’s outburst disseminated via a YouTube video a few days ago is quite unfortunate. I categorically deny any involvement in the decision or the decision making process, which led to Gayle’s non selection to represent the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Tournament.”
“In that video, he has leveled false allegations and tarnished the good name and reputation of a series of persons. I was the focus of most of the onslaughts. I reply, not because I feel that Gayle’s rantings are worthy of it, but because I feel that the public’s record must be set straight and also, to protect the character and careers of so many people, whose image he sought to besmirch.” Sarwan wrote.
Ramnaresh Sarwan, who played for West Indies between 2000-2011, termed Gayle as an “extraordinary talent”, who he respected and even recalled an incident where he stood by his fellow countryman when former Australian Cricketer and commentator Ian Chappell called for his ban from international cricket for his remarks against a female journalist in Australia.
“Let me make it abundantly clear, I have played with Gayle from the inception of my international career and I have always respected him as an extraordinary talent, a colleague and most importantly, a close friend. Hence, my utter shock by these scandalous allegations. He was welcomed in and is loved by my immediate family and has hurt them terribly. Fans will recall, that when Ian Chappell called for Gayle to be banned from international cricket because of remarks he made to a female journalist, I issued a public call for fans to rally around Gayle. I stood up for him on every such occasion. But this missive is not about that,” the Guyanese wrote.
Sarwan also rubbished Gayle’s claims about him being involved in sending the left handed opener back home from a tour 24 years ago. He wrote, “Gayle refers to an incident as far back as 24 years ago, he claimed that I caused him to be sent home from Barbados during a tour because he was watching television all night in the room, which I shared with him. This is a total fabrication, no competent management would remove him from a series, a player of Chris’s caliber on such a trivial allegation.”
Sarwan then narrated his version of what happened during his tenure with the Jamaica Tallawahs, as he also revealed how Gayle attempted to have one of his close friends appointed head coach in 2019.
His post read, “I have been officially attached to the Jamaica Tallawahs since 2018. I was first offered to play for the side. I refused because I felt that young and upcoming Jamaican and regional talents as well as overseas players, ought to be given that opportunity. I was then offered the position of head coach but deferred to Mark O’Donnell, who was with the team several years prior. Instead, I accepted the position of assistant coach.”
“In 2019, I was appointed head coach. I reached out to Chris and discussed with him, the selection of a team. I did so out of respect for him. In my conversation with Gayle about the team, he informed me that Donovan Miller, a Jamaican and a very close friend of Chris, should be appointed head coach as he would better understand the culture of the Jamaican players. I conveyed Gayle’s view to the CEO, informing the CEO that I would be happy to step aside for Miller’s appointment, given that Chris feels strongly about his appointment. My priority was what would be in the best interest of the team. Gayle is fully aware of the background, yet he accuses me of fighting to be the head coach.”
Sarwan defended his move of imposing curfew on the players, labeling it as “Standard Operational Procedures”, however, he rejected Gayle’s accusation about how he spurred the foreign players to disrespect the Universe Boss.
He wrote, “I accept full responsibility for my recommendation, that the team management considers imposing a curfew on players prior to matches, I stand by that decision. Such restrictions are standard operational procedures in almost every international sport so that when it is time for performance on the field, the players are physically and mentally prepared for the challenges.”
“In any event, the curfew was never implemented, so I do not understand why Gayle has made this an issue. I absolutely reject Gayle’s allegation that I encouraged foreign players to disrespect him, I really do not understand how he came to such a conclusion and this simply is not true.”
Sarwan concluded by expressing his regrets of how things panned out, and also wished Gayle for the best in his future endeavours, “I express my deep regret on this unfortunate saga and I hope that it will lower neither Gayle’s nor I, in their estimation. I thank all those who have conveyed their support to me and rallied around me during this unfortunate turn of events, I take this opportunity to wish Chris all the best with his new team in the upcoming CPL.”