With more than 230 professional cricketers in Australia rendered jobless, West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has come out in support of Steve Smith and boys and feels that the players deserve what they demand. Cricket Australia wants to break up the fixed revenue percentage model, but the players' body aren’t sure of the idea and want the old model to continue, something which has been in place since 1998.
Speaking to CricketNext, Gayle who has plied his trade for Melbourne Renegades and Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League said that he has himself been a part of pay disputes between the West Indies players and the West Indies Cricket Board and wants the likes of Smith, David Warner and others to stand ground and not crack under pressure from Cricket Australia.
“To be very honest I have not been following or have not spoken to anyone about it. But yes, I am aware of their situation. It is something that I have been involved with myself before (West Indies even cut short a tour of India in October 2014). I am standing with the players and hope they stand firm and get what they deserve,” he said.
Any talks with the Universe Boss is incomplete without a mention of his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate and skipper Virat Kohli. While the world is in awe of Kohli, Gayle is not satisfied yet. The explosive opener feels that Kohli still has a long way to go and this is just the beginning of what should end as one of the most beautiful journeys in the gentleman’s game.
“Well I still see him progressing in his career. A lot more runs to score and he can only get better and better and gain more experience as well. He will be one of the top guys, maybe even target Sachin Tendulkar for the most centuries and get those hundreds (Kohli already has 16 hundreds in Test matches and 28 in ODIs). He is still young, energetic and fit and can get those milestones as well. His mindset is to reach the ultimate milestones of all times,” Gayle revealed.
While Kohli is on the path of greateness, Gayle himself isn’t getting any younger at 37 years. In fact, he is set to turn 38 in September. And even though he recently earned a recall to the West Indies T20 team for the one-off games against India, he is no longer a permanent member of the national side. But Gayle reiterates that he still has a strong desire to play for West Indies. Gayle hopes to join hands with his teammates and help West Indies lift the 2019 World Cup.
“It is obviously great to be back in national colours. Obviously, I hope to get back into the squad. Our main aim will be to put up a great show and collectively win the 2019 World Cup. Yes, I do look to play as long as possible and till the time my body permits,” he clarified.
While he has his mind clear as far as international cricket is concerned, he is still not too sure whether he will be a part of RCB next year as the players go into the mega auction ahead of season 11. But Gayle is certain that he wants to be associated with the cash-rich league for as long as possible.
“I have had no such conversations yet, neither do I have any idea what the outcome will be — of the mega auction. We’ve to see what the rules are first. Definitely the plan would be to associate with the IPL for longer time,” he said.
In Bengaluru to join hands with IONA Entertainment, one-stop destination for virtual gaming experience, Gayle said: “I was very impressed with the way IONA has envisioned the business. It is truly a one-stop destination for virtual gaming experience. My personal favourites are the virtual reality simulators, Robotic multi-dimensional cinema and the funky UV lit bowling. I am confident, people will love the highly realistic cricket simulation pitch at IONA. I have already had a great association with them (as ambassador) and decided to concretize the relationship further.”
chris gayleCricket Australia Pay DisputeCricket Australia Pay IssuesDavid WarnerGlenn MaxwelliplRoyal Challengers Bangaloresteve smithvirat kohli
First Published: July 17, 2017, 9:41 AM IST