Apparently having had his fill of detractors questioning his selection to the West Indies 15-man squad for the ICC T20 World Cup later this month, Chris Gayle has reacted strongly and channelled his rage at Sir Curtly Ambrose, who has opined that he would not start the Universe Boss once the two-time champions begin their campaign for a third title.

Ever since the squad was named last month, West Indies selectors have come in for criticism for the selection of Gayle and other players like Darren Bravo, who was named among the reserves. Critics have also questioned why players like Sherfane Rutherford and Odean Smith were not selected given how well each performed during the 2021 Hero CPL tournament in St Kitts and Nevis.

However, amidst all of the criticism, Gayle has perhaps come in for the greatest criticism because of the absence of his explosive form that has made him arguably the most successful T20 batsman in the world.

Former West Indies fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose is among those questioning Gayle’s selection. However, with the Jamaican already in the squad, Ambrose did not believe Gayle should start for the West Indies when the tournament begins.

“No, he (Gayle) is not an automatic choice for me. The few home series (West Indies) just played, he had no scores of significance, and I have said before that if he did not do well in those home series, he should not go to the World Cup,” Ambrose reasoned while speaking on Mason and Guest talk show in Barbados last week.

“However, he will be at the World Cup, but for me, he is definitely not an automatic choice for starting… If he gets it going on the day, he can be destructive, but he has not done much in the last 18 months or so to really make me think he will set the World Cup alight.”

Responding to Ambrose’s criticisms, Gayle lashed out hard while speaking on The Island Tea Morning Show in St Kitts on Tuesday.

“I can tell you personally and you can let him know that Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, have no respect for Curtly Ambrose whatsoever,” said Gayle, who accused the fast-bowling great of seeking attention.

“I am speaking about Curtly Ambrose. I am singling out Curtly Ambrose, one of your own. I highly respected him when I came into the West Indies team. When I just joined the team, I looked up to this man. But I am now speaking from my heart. I don’t know what, since he retired, what he had against Chris Gayle. Those negative things he has been saying within the press, I don’t know if he is looking for attention but he is getting the attention. So I am just giving back the attention which he requires and which he needs.”

Gayle continued: “We have won the tournament twice and we will be going for the third title. The team has seen what is happening. It is going to reflect on the team. If the past players continue being negative, I am Chris Gayle Universe Boss is going to be disrespectful, disrespectful verbally in their face. In the media as well. I am not going to take anything from any senior player. Curtly Ambrose pull your socks up, alright? Support for West Indies, ok? Support West Indies, that is the thing.”

The West Indies begin the defence of their title when they play England on October 23 in Dubai.

Chris Gayle, Shakib al Hasan and Faf du Plessis will be playing at 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which takes place in St Kitts & Nevis from 28 August to 19 September.

Chris Gayle will be back with the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, a team he played for in 2017 and 2018. Gayle guided the Patriots to their only Hero CPL final in his first year with the franchise. As the leading run-scorer in T20 history, he brings a huge amount of experience to the Patriots squad. 

Shakib al Hasan has joined the Jamaica Tallawahs for the 2021 season. This will be the second time that the world’s leading spin-bowling allrounder has represented the Tallawahs having been with the franchise in 2016 and 2017.

Faf du Plessis will be playing for the St Lucia Zouks this season. The former South Africa captain has been in outstanding form in recent months for the Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League where he made four consecutive half-centuries, including 95 not out against Kolkata Knight Riders. This is his second stint at the Hero CPL having played for the Patriots in 2016.

 

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have announced their retentions for the 2021 Hero Caribbean Premier League which takes place in St Kitts & Nevis from August 28 to September 19.

The Patriots have brought in two players from other franchises. They have signed Dwayne Bravo from Trinbago Knight Riders in a trade deal that saw Denesh Ramdin go the other way. They have also signed Sherfane Rutherford from Guyana Amazon Warriors.

In addition to these two signings, they have retained Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Jon Russ Jaggesar and Rayad Emrit.

Exciting young prospects Joshua da Silva and Dominic Drakes round out the retentions.

The Patriots have eight spots to fill to complete their squad and these will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The St Kitts and Nevis Franchise extends a warm welcome to the new players joining us this year as well as to our retained core team for yet another exciting season of the Hero CPL. This year makes it extra special with us playing at our home – Warner Park. I would like to thank all our team players, support staff and management as well as our global fan base for their continued love and support. I look forward to an amazing season in 2021,” said Patriots owner Mahesh Ramani.

The retained players are Dwayne Bravo, Evin Lewis, Fabian Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Sheldon Cottrell, Rayad Emrit.

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