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Former Australia captain calls for ‘worldwide ban’ on Gayle

SYDNEY: Chris Gayle may have moved on from his inappropriate live interview with a female reporter during a Big Bash League (BBL) game, but former Australia captain Ian Chappell turned the heat back on the player on Friday, calling for a ‘worldwide contracting ban’ on the West Indian.

Gayle, who plays for the Melbourne Renegades in Australia’s BBL Twenty20 competition, was fined 10,000 Australian dollars ($7,500) for making inappropriate comments to a female reporter in a live TV interview during a match on Monday.

Gayle suggested to the reporter Mel McLaughlin that the pair go out for a drink, later adding “don’t blush, baby” during an awkward pause in the interview.

The former West Indies captain, speaking to reporters on his return to Melbourne on Tuesday, said he had not meant to be disrespectful or offensive to McLaughlin.

“[It was a] simple comment, a simple joke. It seemed to be blown out of proportion,” he said.

“If she felt [offended], I’m really sorry for that. There wasn’t any harm meant in that particular way.”

But Chappell was unimpressed with Gayle’s apology and the sanction he received from Cricket Australia and has called for a tougher penalty on the player.

“I wouldn’t have a problem if Cricket Australia said to the clubs, `he’s never to be contracted again in this country,’” Chappell was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

“And I also wouldn’t have a problem if Cricket Australia said to the ICC, `what we’re doing should be worldwide,’” he added.

“You’d have to talk to the individual countries then … but I wouldn’t have a problem if it was tabled at an ICC meeting that Cricket Australia said, `this is what we’re doing and we would recommend that everybody else do the same’. “How are you going to stop it otherwise?”

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, who whose wife Lee Furlong worked as a television sports journalist, also weighed in on the incident and fears Gayle may not be welcomed back to the BBL.

“There’s no doubt people have always loved coming along and watching him play because of the entertainment that he can certainly provide, but there is a line outside the game of cricket as well.”


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