x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Gayle not on West Indies coach Gibson's radar

Opening batsman can end his long-standing feud with the West Indies Cricket Board and return to the team or move on to orther things, he says.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados // Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, said that Chris Gayle is well aware of what is required for him to rejoin the Caribbean team.

Gibson was reacting to a lengthy and emotional statement from Gayle describing efforts by the West Indies officials to reconcile with him as "a sham and a mockery".

Gayle was overlooked for selection to the West Indies side now hosting Tests against India, and said he would explore opportunities available to him elsewhere. To that, Gibson said: "I do not think much about what is being said. My focus is with the team, and trying to get the team into shape.

"As you can see, though we are not batting very well, there has been a lot of improvement in the team, so that is my focus.

"Whatever Chris or anyone else outside of the team bubble wants to say is completely up to them."

Gibson said the matter was before the West Indies Cricket Board directors now, and he would leave them to deal with it. "Chris knows this, and it's got nothing to do with me anymore," he said. "We had a meeting last weekend. Chris knows my stance, so if he chooses to come out and make statements, then that's up to him."

He conceded that West Indies "have not been winning for a while" and said that Gayle could be a part of an improved side "if he chooses".

"It seems from a lot of the stuff from what he is saying he doesn't feel he can be a part of it," Gibson said. "He knows what the score is, and he is choosing his own path completely. And that's up to him completely."

In the statement, Gayle said he had run out of patience with the board. "I have now reached the stage where I have to say that enough is enough," he wrote.

"I have come to the bitter realisation that I am not wanted by the board and all that has gone before in terms of reconciliation is a sham and a mockery.

"I see it as a scam to fool the people of the West Indies and the world into believing that they were serious about my returning to West Indies cricket."

Gibson said he is trying not to get side-tracked by the issue, since the rebuilding of the team and the game in the region was more than enough for him to handle.

"At the end of the day, I have 13 other players here, and there are broader issues with which I have to deal with in West Indies cricket," he said.

Gibson said he was not concerned about players having their own relationship with Gayle, highlighted by Marlon Samuels running over to salute him, following the West Indies victory in the final one-day international against India that preceded the Test series.

"Individuals have to deal with stuff in their own way," he said. "It's hard to stop a guy from, say, going on the internet, and being friendly with Chris, but I can assure you we do not sit and have team meetings about Chris Gayle.

"We discuss cricket, and India, and how we're going to get Rahul Dravid out, and VVS Laxman out, and how we are going to stop Ishant Sharma from getting six wickets again."

Gayle, 31, has scored 6,373 runs in 91 Tests, including two triple-centuries, and 8,087 runs in 223 one-dayers for West Indies.