Rally around Chris, says Sir Hilary

KINGSTON –– Vice-chancellor of the University of the West Indies, Sir Hilary Beckles, believes that Chris Gayle has been humbled by the consequences of his recent actions in the Australian Big Bash and said that the Jamaican cricketer needs the support of the Caribbean people.

Gayle drew the ire of sports fans and administrators alike two weeks ago over comments he made to Australian female sports journalist Mel McLaughlin during a post-match interview.

Chris Gayle on the go during his record innings today.
Chris Gayle on the go during his record innings today.

While the cricketer later apologised and was fined almost US$10,000 by his Melbourne Renegades, there were calls by some for him to be banned from cricket.

Beckles, who said that in his judgment, Gayle was the best cricketer in the world and that he prayed every day for his return to the West Indies fold, added that the player was guilty of a lack of diplomacy.

“I take his words for what he said, that he meant no offence. I take his word for that. I think he has given his apology,” Sir Hilary, who was guest speaker at Friday evening’s RJR Sports Foundation Awards ceremony, told The Gleaner.

“We have to give him the support that he needs. Lots of sportsmen and women from time to time might not say the diplomatically pleasing thing, but in most cases, the environment of sport, comments are sometimes taken in the wrong way, and I just want to see Chris dust off all of this,” he added.

The Barbadian educator was himself at the heart of a controversy involving Gayle in 2011, when during the Sir Frank Worrell Lecture on the rise and fall of West Indies cricket, he referred to Gayle as the “don” of the contemporary West Indies team.

“All of us who are educators –– and I am first and foremost an educator –– I have seen how all of us can sometimes make statements that are not ideal under the circumstances. But he is a cricketer, and he is a sportsman; and like every sportsman, you make mistakes on the field and off the field.

“When you make mistakes on the field, you go to your coach and you correct them. When you make mistakes off the field, you go to your support team and you correct them. And when you correct them, you come out and demonstrate that you are much better and much bigger,” Sir Hilary said.

While adding that he wished to leave his own controversy in the past, Sir Hilary also said that he believed Gayle to have learnt from the experience, adding that he believes the Jamaican has a role to play in the future of the Caribbean sport.

“This event has humbled Chris, and I want to big him up to get back. I have known him for many years, and I wish him all the best, and I say to him, ‘Come back and fulfill your destiny, and your destiny is in the heart of West Indies cricket’,” he said.

7 Responses to Rally around Chris, says Sir Hilary

  1. Collin Colliie Chase
    Collin Colliie Chase January 19, 2016 at 1:33 am

    Sir Hilary with all due respect how can someone have a future role when they don’t seem interested.

  2. Ricardo January 19, 2016 at 2:41 am

    Why does this sound like butt kissing ?

  3. Brerlou January 19, 2016 at 8:57 am

    “HITLER” D****s A “Wild Boy”
    (“Wild Boy:” Bajanism for a street urchin.)

    Many years ago, one of the best fast bowlers in the island never got to represent Barbados overseas because, it was said, that he had the social graces of a barnyard animal. He would jostle his teammates at the refreshment cart, grab food with his hands during the lunch interval, and secrete some in his pocket to munch on during play on the field.

    Some of the things said about his table manners might be apocryphal, but all I remember of him was from seeing him being gracious to schoolboys on the Weymouth playing field, where he would visit on the afternoon, to give the schoolboy cricketers some top level practice, which undoubtedly benefited cricketers of the level of Robin Bynoe, Teddy Griffith,Tony King, Rudi Webster and David Holford who later went on to represent the West Indies.

    Not being a cricketer, I know very little of the man himself, except for overhearing brief conversations in the school pavilion, but I do recall hearing that gentle giant, (to a 10 year old) tell someone, “I’s a wild boy, you know. I ain’t got no manners.” I don’t know if the words were in the manner of a threat, a warning, or an apology in advance.

    To this day, I still think it’s a pity that he never got the chance to showcase his goods to the WI selectors, but I’m sure Gayle can’t be that bad. After all, all he did was ask for a date.

  4. Lionel M January 19, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    The man made an error in judgement, that’s all …He did not seem mean-spirited at all, and in the sports arena, with all the interviews and media coverage etc..etc, it is a form of entertainment…So to call for him to be banned from cricket or be banned for any games is ridiculous ….If he broke any league rules, fine him…If not, institute a code of conduct that could result in progressively heavy fines, and let the man play his cricket…

  5. mostmark January 19, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    “A lack of understanding- Ignorance is at the core of Chris Gayle problems. He need to hire someone with Image consultant, human resource/Etiquette experience to provide training. England and Australia are fundamentally different in their expectations of how an employee should behave on the job and off the job. To add insult to injury Chris was photographed in a T-Shirt ” Sex Sells”

    What Chris Gayle did was tantamount to sexually harassment and would have been sanctioned anywhere in North America, England and Australia for that matter.

  6. Walter Prescod January 19, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    It’s a shame that some people are like sheepdogs.
    If you have never made a mistake keep talking, otherwise shutup!
    If someone opologise this should be the end of the story. Let the sorry WIBC do this to the cricket lovers of the WI. and for the haters of CG go get a life where ever you are in this world! I will be surprise if CG plays for this WICB regime

  7. Randy Bridgeman January 19, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Does Lord Christopher ever come across as truly contrite/remorseful for making mistakes as we all do?


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