Former West Indies captain Chris Gayle claims his decision to play in the Indian Premier League and miss the national team's series against Pakistan arises from his perceived ill-treatment from the country's cricket board. (Also Read: Gayle picks IPL, angers Windies board)
Gayle was left out of the initial part of the one-day and Twenty20 series against Pakistan due to an abdominal injury, but elected to skip the entire series and sign with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, claiming Wednesday it was due to a dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board and because experienced teammates Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shivnarine Chanderpaul were left out of the squad.
"I was actually forced to make this decision based on what was happening around me and based on what has happened to current players (Ramnaresh) Sarwan and (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul," Gayle said on KLAS Sports Radio in Jamaica on Wednesday.
"I wanted to play and I wanted to represent West Indies," the powerful left-handed batsman said. "I didn't know what the future held. Two games can play, guys do well, Chris Gayle still will be sitting out."
The 31-year-old Gayle, unsigned at the IPL auction last January, was on Tuesday snapped up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore to replace the injured Australian fast bowler, Dirk Nannes.
The West Indies Cricket Board issued him the necessary No Objection Certificate (NOC), but issued a media release critical of Gayle's choice.
Gayle said the dispute predates the World Cup, claiming he was threatened with exclusion from the tournament for asking whether the tournament contract was approved by the West Indies Players' Association.
"I got a reply, copied to the three selectors and the coach and the lawyer and the CEO himself stating, Chris, we have someone on standby for you so if you don't sign this contract right now, basically you will be replaced for the World Cup," Gayle said.
"That hurt me so much to believe that they are talking to a person who just captained West Indies and they actually dealing with me like that. That was unfair."
Gayle said the dispute contributed to a poor dressing room atmosphere at the World Cup.
He also said he felt let down by coach Ottis Gibson, who was highly critical of Gayle's captaincy in leaked reports and blamed Gayle and other senior batsmen for the West Indies World Cup failures.
But the outspoken Jamaican said he was not ready to end his West Indies career as yet.
"I'm still the hardest fighting cricketer for West Indies. I go on West Indies field with broken finger and bat on one leg. You know who's the most hardcore cricket for West Indies. Chris Gayle. Ask anyone that."
Gayle said he made the candid comments to "clear my name."
"Them talking a lot of things about me I have sponsors out there and I have credibility out there and I have the youngsters looking up to me," he said. "So don't come putting me as a bad apple. It's not me."
The West Indies' series against Pakistan begins in St. Lucia on Thursday while Gayle will be available for the Royal Challengers Bangalore when it plays its sixth match of the IPL, against Kolkata Knight Riders, on Friday.