We tried hard to reach out to Chris Gayle: WICB

Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2011, 14:00 [IST]
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WICB dismisses Gayle's claim

Kingston, April 26: The West Indies Cricket Board on April 26dismissed Chris Gayle's claims that he was dropped without being told, insisting that it was the flamboyant batsman who made himself unavailable for selection before heading off to the lucrative IPL.

WICB chief Ernest Hilaire said the Board did all it could to contact Gayle, who suffered an abdominal strain during the World Cup.

Gayle was not picked for the ongoing series against Pakistan and the batsman went on to state that his Board left him with no choice but to join IPL by not reaching out to him. But the WICB contradicted his claims.

"We can dispel all that Chris (Gayle) said by releasing the letters and emails," Hilaire told the Line. "We've stated -- it is not that we do not want the players to earn a living. We want them to earn a living but we also want them to honour their commitment to West Indies cricket. So we spoke to (Kieron) Pollard, (Dwayne) Bravo and Chris."

"Last October when the three players did not sign the retainer contracts, we wrote to them and said ''tell us what the issues are so we can address it moving forward''," Hilaire said.

"We had some exchanges, a couple of constructive ones, one not very constructive but we decided we were going to continue to engage the players. We did not want a situation where we pick the players to play for West Indies and they miss out on IPL, they are then bitter, disappointed, they wish they were at IPL. We would not benefit, they would not benefit," he added.

"It did not exactly work out with Chris but when the point came and he said he was not available for selection, we did give him the NOC because it is not about revenge, it is not about denying him the opportunity."

Hilaire said before he flew out for the IPL, the WICB believed that Gayle was recuperating from injury.

"We said to Chris repeatedly that as far as we are concerned you're injured, you're doing a rehabilitative programme, and that when you're finished we want you tested and if you're available we'll pick you to play for West Indies," Hilaire said.

"If you don't want to play we have no difficulty in giving you the NOC once you say you're not available for selection, and he said he was not available for selection and we gave him the NOC," he explained.


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