West Indies Cricket Impasse Over; Jamaica’s Chris Gayle to Return

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The year-long impasse between Jamaica’s Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board has been resolved, Antigua Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer has announced.

Baldwin said the way is now clear for the active return of Gayle as a player to West Indies cricket, subject to all necessary fitness considerations.

The Prime Minister is the chairman of CARICOM’s Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Cricket.

The resolution came after a face-to-face meeting between Dr Julian Hunte, the president of the West Indies Cricket Board, and Gayle in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gayle captained the West Indies’ Test side from 2007 to 2010. His criticism of coach Otis Gibson, and refusal to withdraw the comments, led to his not being selected for the team since the World Cup in March 2011.

The two sides said “Cricket is bigger than everyone” in a statement, and said both sides’ “respective shortcomings” contributed to the “debilitating impasse.”

“There are lessons to be learnt from this episode by all concerned, which out to redound to the benefit of West Indies cricket,” the statement said.

Gayle said he expressed his regret for making the earlier contentious statement which he said was interpreted as bringing the board of the WICB into “disrepute,” and reaffirmed his commitment to the team and his solidarity with the people of the Caribbean.

An individual statement from Gayle said he agreed to the resolution with two conditions: one, that he would not be subject to any victimisation or discrimination by the WICB or its employees upon his return to West Indies cricket, and two, that he would be permitted to complete his current IPL contract in India, which covers the period of the ongoing Australian tour of the West Indies and up to May 29.

He will forego his contract with Somerset after his IPL contract in India to be available for West Indies Cricket.

Gayle requested a final meeting to be convened between the WICB and Spencer.