Chappell appeals for Gayle ban

West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle.
West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle. PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY • Australian cricket great Ian Chappell has called on Cricket Australia (CA) to propose a worldwide contracting ban on Chris Gayle following the West Indian player's controversial sideline interview with sports reporter Mel McLaughlin.

Gayle, 36, was fined US$10,000 (S$14,400) by his Big Bash League (BBL) side Melbourne Renegades for his on-air mid-match comments to McLaughlin on Monday.

The big-hitting batsman's hopes of returning next season could also be all but over, given CA has the power to essentially veto any BBL player's contract.

Some officials wanted Gayle to be suspended over the interview, in which he told McLaughlin she had beautiful eyes and asked her out for a drink before saying "don't blush, baby".

Former Australian skipper Chappell said CA must send a zero-tolerance message on what he deemed "totally inappropriate" behaviour in a sport trying to gain traction with women.

"I wouldn't have a problem if Cricket Australia said to the clubs, 'He's never to be contracted again in this country'," Chappell said in Sydney.

"And I also wouldn't have a problem if Cricket Australia said to the International Cricket Council, 'What we're doing should be worldwide'.

"How are you going to stop it otherwise?"

Gayle has apologised for any offence, saying it was a "simple joke", but Chappell thought he was "past help", and said the focus should be on sending a message to other male cricketers.

"If it was a one-off thing, yeah, slap him with a US$10,000 fine and say, 'Mate, don't do it again'," he said. "But every woman I spoke to (about Gayle) who's working at the cricket, you get the same answer.

"They were quite adamant about it."

Gayle is expected to open for the Renegades today, when they host the Melbourne Stars at the Etihad Stadium.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2016, with the headline 'Chappell appeals for Gayle ban'. Print Edition | Subscribe