In a parting shot after the fiasco that developed recently over his on-air advances to Australian journalist Mel McLaughlin, Gayle hit back at his main critics, especially former cricketers who chastised him for his behaviour during an interview with McLaughlin.
Gayle declared himself a league builder in the T20 format, and said if he had played his last BBL innings, his “memory with the fans will live on forever”.
His final innings was certainly memorable, a record-equalling 12-ball half-century to join India’s Yuvraj Singh’s 2007 knock at the top of the tables for the fastest T20 50.
But Gayle’s latest Big Bash season will be remembered more for the McLaughlin interview in which he asked the interviewer out for a drink during the live international broadcast, and flustered her with the now famous flattery line: “don’t blush, baby”.
According to Dre1 sources, his comments were widely criticised, including by Cricket Australia, and while Gayle was not suspended by his team, Melbourne Renegades, it is considered unlikely he will be back for future BBL tournaments.
Gayle used his Instagram account on Tuesday, a day after his last innings of the series, to thank the Renegades and the Australian fans for their support.
“Ppl think I may have played my last innings in Aus, but my memory with the fans will live on forever!!” Gayle wrote. “I build leagues around the world and Big Bash is one of them … ‘Give the ppl what they want’.”
Gayle’s conduct during the interview was criticised by various media outlets and former players, including Andrew Flintoff , who tweeted at the time that Gayle had “made himself look a bit of a chop”.
Gayle’s former Sydney Thunder teammate, Chris Rogers, was more expansive on ABC radio during the recent Sydney Test, and said he had concerns about the influence being set for younger players.
“From my time at the Thunder, I was very disappointed in his attitude and his behaviour, and I’ve never been a fan since,” Rogers said at the time. “From what I saw, if I had been in the Thunder the next year, it would have been my advice that he shouldn’t have been anywhere near the set-up.
“The reason I think he hasn’t played in the BBL for a while is because that (it) was said: ‘Stay away from Chris Gayle because he brings more trouble than he’s worth’. This is a pattern of behaviour that if you know the guy, you see it over and over. To defend it, I think is not right at all. I don’t see it as funny at all. He says it’s just a joke. Well, it’s not just a joke, is it?”
Although he did not name anyone, Gayle was scathing about the criticisms he had received.
“To the MEDIA, Thank You all so! The Haters, I Thank you even more … I think a lot of past and present cricketers who smile in front my face could have their say in the public when my so-called issue was going on, but y’all don’t have the BALLs to stand firm when it matters – but yet when u see me you’re like, Chris that’s BS against you, it was blown out of proportion smh [shaking my head]…don’t tell me, tell the media and (the) public!
“The past cricketer who say I make myself look like a chop, the other who claims I was no good to the youngsters while playing for the Thunder, the next one who said he expects that sort of behaviour from Chris – Y’all can kiss my ‘Black R..s’. “I love Australia and I will be back again even for the … oi oi,” wrote Gayle.