We tried hard to reach out to Gayle: WICB
WICB chief Ernest Hilaire said the Board did all it could to contact Gayle, who suffered an abdominal strain during the World Cup.
Gayle was not picked for the ongoing series against Pakistan and the batsman went on to state that his Board left him with no choice but to join IPL by not reaching out to him.
But the WICB contradicted his claims.
“We can dispel all that Chris (Gayle) said by releasing the letters and emails,” Hilaire told the ‘Line & Length Network’
“But we should not do that. You communicate with a player, you ask for his opinions, you ask for him to account on certain statements he made, you ask him what’s his position on certain things and you expect to be treated with a certain degree of confidence.
“…I’m not going to try to prove Chris Gayle is wrong.
What’s more important is to state that we’re very disappointed in the way in Chris has decided to respond. I think he is being ill—advised. We’ve worked exceedingly hard to reach out to Chris,” he said.
Hilaire said the WICB had no grudges against the player and it was proved by the No Objection Certificate he was handed for the IPL despite making himself unavailable for the series.
We’ve stated – it is not that we do not want the players to earn a living. We want them to earn a living but we also want them to honour their commitment to West Indies cricket. So we spoke to (Kieron) Pollard, (Dwayne) Bravo and Chris.
“Last October when the three players did not sign the retainer contracts, we wrote to them and said ‘tell us what the issues are so we can address it moving forward’,” Hilaire said.
“We had some exchanges, a couple of constructive ones, one not very constructive but we decided we were going to continue to engage the players. We did not want a situation where we pick the players to play for West Indies and they miss out on IPL, they are then bitter, disappointed, they wish they were at IPL. We would not benefit, they would not benefit,” he added.
“It did not exactly work out with Chris but when the point came and he said he was not available for selection, we did give him the NOC because it is not about revenge, it is not about denying him the opportunity.”
Hilaire said before he flew out for the IPL, the WICB believed that Gayle was recuperating from injury.
“We said to Chris repeatedly that as far as we are concerned you’re injured, you’re doing a rehabilitative programme, and that when you’re finished we want you tested and if you’re available we’ll pick you to play for West Indies,” Hilaire said.
“If you don’t want to play we have no difficulty in giving you the NOC once you say you’re not available for selection, and he said he was not available for selection and we gave him the NOC,” he explained.