SYDNEY (AFP) - West Indies cricket star Chris Gayle was under fire again on Tuesday for his actions in Australia's Big Bash League, days after a storm over his sexist comments to a female television presenter.
Gayle, who made headlines after attempting to flirt with Network Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin during an live interview, was savaged by commentators for refusing to take what appeared to be an easy single for his Melbourne Renegades team against Sydney Thunder late on Monday.
He was criticised by the match commentators for turning back his fellow opening batsman Tom Cooper, who was keen to take a run in the Twenty20 format where one run can mean the difference between a win and loss.
"This is the most unbelievable, ridiculous cricket I've ever seen," said former Australian Test skipper Ricky Ponting.
"Sometimes in cricket and in life you get what you deserve, and he got what he deserved there.
"What sort of message does that send to the boys on the sideline?"
Gayle was dismissed on the next ball when Fawad Ahmed took a catch off Clint McKay. He had scored 28 off 20 balls.
The burly West Indian declined to be interviewed about the incident after the match. Normally batsmen would only refuse an easy single if they were attempting to keep the strike and protect a lesser batsman.
Gayle's Renegades team went on to win the match by five wickets.
Gayle was fined US$7,000 (about S$10,000) for his approach to McLaughlin last week, which provoked a storm of outrage among other female journalists who aired complaints against the West Indies showman.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland said no one should have to face such a situation.
Gayle's future in Australia's BBL next season is up in the air following the furore.