SPORTS

The Saga Of Gayle vs. Sarwan

I want you to know that I am the man
Who fight for the right, not for the wrong
Going there, I’m growing there
Helping the weak against the strong

Soon you will find out the man
I’m supposed to be

Toots and the Maytals

Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan are two of Windies most favorite players. Excellent players I may add, playing together since their U-19 days.

They both shared cricket pitches around the world in the senior team on numerous occasions, as well as in all the formats.

Together they have helped to win the 2004 Champions Trophy with each contributing and playing important roles.

In their winning campaign, Ramnaresh Sarwan was Windies’s leading run-scorer, and Chris Gayle was Windies’ leading wicket-taker.

Both players have played under each other’s captaincy.

So much they shared in common, but the outburst recently by Chris Gayle was one that could be described as way outside the off stump.

The off the pitch onslaught by Gayle not only against his former franchise but also his former team and roommate took pundits and fans by surprise.

Gayle labeled his former teammate, now Assistant Coach Ramnaresh Sarwan, a “snake,” “vindictive,” and “despicable” as well as the sordid affairs of “politics’ which he claimed led to his departure from the Tallawahs.

Gayle’s bone of contention, he had signed a three-year contract with the franchise, expecting to have his last dance before his home fans, but unfortunately was not allowed to do so.

Consequently, he was ‘bringled’, and his frustration brimmed after learning that he was released from his home franchise in a rather unorthodox manner.

This move, of course, led to more ‘kas kas’ with the management team of Jamaica Tallawahs and Sarwan denying all the allegations leveled against them by Gayle.

According to Tallawahs’ top honchos, the decision to omit Gayle from its 2020 CPL roster was because of business and cricket reasons — not politics or Sarwan’s involvement.

However, what seems to be unfortunate is the decision-making process.

Gayle learned of his release from the franchise from a third party, which speaks to a breakdown in communication and a plantation-style of doing business.

So, with the fear of being labeled a “sell-out” by his Jamaican fans, Gayle turned to YouTube to make his case in what some pundits referred to as an unprofessional display of conduct.

Gayle’s rant, some have also argued not only badly tainted his ex-West Indies teammate Sarwan but also soiled his and Windies’ image.

Tallawahs has won two CPL titles. Both times, Gayle was their captain. The Jamaican crowd loves their superstar, but this season, Gayle will be playing against his home crowd.

Gayle, at forty-years-old, is at the ending phase of his career, but he has shown time and again that he may be ‘old’ but not cold with the bat — big bat.

He has demonstrated his worth playing with Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore. In 2012 he topped the IPL’s batting charts with a mammoth 733 runs at a 61.80 average, one that other players can only dream about.

In 2013 he averaged 59.0 and one would have to cut him some slack for his moderate performance in the 2016 and 2017 seasons when he averaged a mere 22.7 and 22.2, respectively.

The King’s XI Punjab bought him in 2018 and he showed in 2019 that the firepower was still there by averaging 40.83.

He is too big a superstar, and everyone knows who Chris Gayle is and what he can do with the bat.

Will this latest incident have any impact on the dressing room that Chris Gayle will share? Probably not.

He has been playing cricket for over 20 years and has tons of things to communicate to the younger blokes.

Teams will still look to him as someone who will win the game for them. They will be more than happy to share the dressing room with him because players know that having Gayle around them is something you will not have access to later.

Chris Gayle has scored more than 7,000 Test runs, more than 10,000 ODI runs, and more than 13,000 T20 runs. He has Scored more T20 centuries than any player, hit more sixes than any player.

That said, it’s unfortunate he did not get to have his last dance playing for his home franchise, but Gayle may take comfort in the fact that he may have lost the battle but not the war.

So, Tallawhs’ loss is St. Lucia Zouks’ gain as Gayle was immediately signed after that franchise learned of his availability for selection.

His monumental record as a T20 batting star and crowd-puller has placed the franchise in poll position to do well this season, and when his team comes up against the Tallawahs, they may pay dearly.

Get the popcorn out, will yah?

Jawad Zahid/Nigel Bell, Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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