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Politicians enter Gayle row

DROPPED: Chris Gayle

BATSMAN CHRIS Gayle’s face-off with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has gone to the highest level.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) heads of government have decided to intervene in the West Indies Players Association's dispute with the WICB over the future of former captain Chris Gayle. The move comes on the heels of Gayle's latest public and emotional statement against the board that included a request for government intervention.

CARICOM chairman Denzil Douglas said the heads of government had agreed to resurrect the prime-ministerial sub-committee on cricket to try to work out a solution. "Today we had to take certain decisions with regards to the impasse that seems to be ongoing between the regional players association and the WICB," Douglas told the CMC Sports Wire. "We believe that West Indies cricket has not been one of the vehicles of which the Caribbean man today can be proud of moving himself upwards."

CARICOM's announcement follows Guyana president Bharrat Jagdeo's scathing criticism of the board. "It comes back to who owns West Indian cricket," Jagdeo said. "The board thinks it owns West Indian cricket, my belief is that it belongs to all of us, the people of this region.

Gayle is being treated unfairly by the WICB. You can't not tell him anything; he needs to earn too, and then you have a tour coming and when he goes off, he gets another contract then you're concerned that he has left the region."

The Gayle-WICB stand-off was sparked off when Gibson criticised the senior batsmen following the team's quarter-final exit at the World Cup. Gayle was subsequently ignored for the Pakistan series, along with fellow seniors Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Gayle travelled to India to participate in the IPL - where he was the player of the tournament - leaving the WICB disappointed since they were under the impression he was undergoing rehabilitation.

Gayle reacted by slamming the board in a radio interview with KLAS Sports, saying he had been left with no option but to sign an IPL contract since the WICB had disrespected and mistreated him by not checking with him over his fitness before announcing the squad.

He was consequently left out of the squad for the current India series.

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