Chris Gayle stands by the explosive comments he made about ex-West Indies team-mate Ramnaresh Sarwan and has avoided punishment from the Caribbean Premier League.

Earlier this month, Sarwan described allegations made by Gayle in a controversial video as "scandalous".

The West Indies batsman described his former colleague Sarwan as "worse than the coronavirus" in an April rant on YouTube.

Gayle also branded him "a snake", "evil", "wicked", "poison", "vindictive", "immature", and "despicable".

The remarks came after Gayle – West Indies' leading run scorer in ODIs and Twenty20s – was released by CPL side Jamaica Tallawahs, for whom Sarwan is assistant coach.

In a statement, Gayle insisted he stands by his comments with regard to the way he claims to have been treated, but does regret any damage to the reputation of Cricket West Indies and the CPL.

CPL organisers had asked the 40-year-old batsman, now with St Lucia Zouks, to address the issue, and were satisfied with what he said. They now consider the matter to be closed.

"In so far as my resentment at the treatment, I stand by my comments in those videos," Gayle said.

"I made these videos with one single intention - to explain to the fans in Jamaica the reasons behind what has now become my second departure from the Tallawahs franchise.

"It was my greatest wish to finish my Caribbean Premier League career in Jamaica - playing in front of my home crowd at Sabina Park with the franchise that I had previously led to two CPL titles.

"Having said that, I must be honest and say that I now realise how portions of my comments may be viewed as being damaging to Cricket West Indies, and to the CPL Tournament and its brand.

"[It is] a tournament which I have sincerely enjoyed not just being a part of, but also helping to build and promote. It was never my intention to damage the T20 tournament.

"Playing in the CPL has guaranteed an opportunity for the past seven years to play in front of the great fans of the Caribbean. This is a privilege which I genuinely appreciate and have never taken for granted."

In his response to Gayle’s initial remarks, Sarwan was left stunned, saying he believes them to have caused "immeasurable damage to the gentleman's game of cricket".

He posted on Facebook: "Let me make it abundantly clear, I have played with Gayle from the inception of my international career and I have always respected him as an extraordinary talent, a colleague, and most importantly, a close friend.

"Hence my utter shock by these scandalous allegations - in that video, he has levelled false allegations and tarnished the reputations of a series of persons.

"I was the focus of most of the onslaughts. I reply, not because I feel that Gayle's rantings are worthy of it, but because I feel that the public's record must be set straight and also, to protect the character and careers of so many people, whose image he has sought to besmirch."

A large part of sport's huge appeal is the chance for the seemingly impossible to be achieved.

Shane Long and Chris Gayle realised that potential on April 23, each entering the record books in their respective sports.

Long and Gayle etched their name into the history books for delivering in quick time, but on this date 15 years ago Aaron Rodgers' NFL Draft experience was anything but swift.

Here we look back on some of the most memorable moments from the world of sport to take place on April 23.

 

1991: Borg way past his best on comeback

Having initially retired as an 11-time grand slam champion in 1984, Borg made his return to the tennis court, but was a shadow of his former self.

The 34-year-old proved too slow to compete with Jordi Arrese at the Monte Carlo Open, his Spanish opponent easing to a 6-2 6-3 win in just 78 minutes.

Borg went on to suffer first-round exits in 12 tournaments before putting the racquet down for good.

2005: Niners go with Smith over Rodgers

The San Francisco 49ers held the first pick in the 2005 NFL Draft and the sentimental choice was clear.

Quarterback Rodgers, a Northern California native who had starred across the bay from San Francisco in Berkeley for the California Golden Bears and grew up a 49ers fan, was among the cream of the crop.

However, instead of selecting Rodgers, the 49ers went with Utah quarterback Alex Smith, leading to a now-infamous draft-day slide.

Rodgers was eventually selected 24th overall by the Green Bay Packers and, as Smith experienced a rollercoaster career with the Niners, went on to establish himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

He won a Super Bowl with Green Bay at the end of the 2010 season, but revenge over the Niners has not been forthcoming. Rodgers has faced the 49ers three times in the playoffs and lost on all three occasions, including in last season's NFC Championship game.

2013: Universe boss sends records world records tumbling

West Indies star Chris Gayle is famed for his explosive batting, and he delivered in record-breaking fashion seven years ago.

Playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, Gayle struck an incredible unbeaten 175 against Pune Warriors.

Hitting 13 fours and a scarcely believable 17 sixes in a memorable 66-ball stay, Gayle set records for the fastest Twenty20 century and the highest T20 score of all time.

It truly was a day on which the self-titled 'Universe Boss' lived up to his moniker.

2019: Shane didn't need long to score

April 23, 2019 is a date Ledley King may want to forget, as the former Tottenham defender saw his record for the fastest Premier League goal broken by Shane Long.

The Southampton striker needed just 7.69 seconds to score in a 1-1 draw with Watford at Vicarage Road.

His effort was over two seconds quicker than King's, who netted for Spurs after 10 seconds against Bradford City back on December 9, 2000.

Sunday was due to see the start of the Indian Premier League in 2020, with champions Mumbai Indians scheduled to take on Chennai Super Kings in a repeat of last year's final.

It was to be the first of 56 group games during the 13th season, the success of the lucrative Twenty20 competition showing no signs of slowing up despite pretenders springing up all over the world hoping to find the same magic formula for success.

However, the coronavirus outbreak put paid to the best-laid plans.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India announced a postponement until April 15 initially, yet it remains to be seen when – perhaps even if – the campaign will begin, considering the health crisis that is unfolding around the globe.

Still need your IPL fix, though? Why not enjoy a leisurely trip down memory lane to recall some of the notable moments in the tournament's history.

Rashid Khan entered the history books as the first player picked in the draft for the inaugural season of The Hundred, while Andre Russell was snapped up but Chris Gayle and Lasith Malinga went unsigned.

Afghanistan spinner Rashid, the ICC's top-ranked Twenty20 bowler, was selected in the top-tier £125,000 bracket by the Trent Rockets to join a team that also includes England Test captain Joe Root, Alex Hales and Australia big-hitter D'Arcy Short.

West Indies' electric all-rounder Andre Russell was the second man chosen and is bound for the Southern Brave, where Australia slogger David Warner and England's lightning paceman Jofra Archer are among his team-mates.

"I'm feeling good, I was nervous before, it's the first time being in the draft in this competition," Russell said. 

"I've got a lot to offer, a 100 ball [format] is definitely see ball, hit ball. I don't have to worry about my head [with Archer as a team-mate]. He's a great character. 

"I will try to just bowl faster than him."

Windies legend Gayle and veteran Sri Lanka quick Malinga will not be involved in the tournament, which starts in July next year, after their reserve prices were not met.

Welsh Fire selected world-class Australian quality with the menacing Mitchell Starc and superstar batsman Steve Smith joining England international Jonny Bairstow.

Northern Superchargers coach Darren Lehmann went with Australian familiarity by selecting Aaron Finch and Chris Lynn. 

Lehmann also chose Mujeeb Ur Rahman for a team that already has England's Cricket World Cup hero Ben Stokes.

Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammad Amir and Mark Wood link up with Eoin Morgan – who skippered England to World Cup glory – at London Spirit, while classy New Zealand star Kane Williamson and Ravi Bopara are headed to the Birmingham Phoenix.

Manchester Originals landed Imran Tahir for their top-bracket selection, while Sunil Narine offers spin and top-order explosiveness for the Oval Invincibles.

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