Melbourne Renegades Twenty20 team fined West Indies batsman Chris Gayle, for asking an Australian TV reporter out on a date and making personal comments at her, during a televised pitch side interview.
Responding to the issue, Chief Executive Stuart Coventry said, “Chris's comments were completely inappropriate and disrespectful. There is simply no place for these types of comments at the Melbourne Renegades.”
“The club would like to extend a formal apology to Mel McLaughlin. We think of her very highly and the club and players will ensure we work with her in a professional and respectful manner in future. We've had several discussions with Chris over the past day and he has acknowledged that his comments were out of line.”
Gayle had just hit 41 from 15 balls to help the Renegades to victory over the Hobart Hurricanes in the nationally televised match in Tasmania when he was approached by Channel 10 reporter McLaughlin.
After suggesting that he had played well in order to get an interview with McLaughlin, Gayle uttered personal comments towards her.
Reportedly, Gayle commented at McLaughlin, saying, “To see your eyes for the first time is nice. Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don't blush baby.”
After knowing, the comments were immediately condemned by the Big Bash League and Channel 10, saying that, McLaughlin had been angered and upset by the encounter.
Backing his comments, Gayle said, “(It was a) simple comment, a simple joke. It seemed to be blown out of proportion. If she felt (offended), I'm really sorry for that. There wasn't any harm meant in that particular way. It wasn't any harm done and like I said, I will leave it at that. I'm sorry for that. We have to move on, simple.”
Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said the comments were a "pretty significant mis-hit" by Gayle and certainly no laughing matter.
"I think that anyone who sees humour in that is misunderstanding and somewhat delusional about the situation," he said.
“I think they're forgetting it's a workplace situation. It's inappropriate and it's very, very public. It just goes to the point about how inappropriate and not cool that is.”
According to the reports, Gayle, a big draw for Twenty20 leagues around the world, earns around $250,000 for playing in the Big Bash League. But he was fined A$100,000 now for his sexist comments.
By Phani Ch