MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – The Melbourne Renegades are considering bringing back Chris Gayle for another ‘Big Bash’ cricket tournament despite the furore the West Indies batsman caused by asking a reporter out on a date during a televised interview.
Gayle was fined A$10,000 ($7,500) and slammed by Renegades’ management in January after directing personal comments at Channel Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin.
“To see your eyes for the first time is nice,” the 36-year-old said. “Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don’t blush, baby.”
The Jamaican later told reporters it was a “simple joke” that had been blown out of proportion and offered a qualified apology to McLaughlin.
Victoria state and Renegades coach David Saker said that while Gayle’s behaviour was wrong it would not factor into his recruiting decisions.
“I just pick a squad of players. If the hierarchies or people in higher positions than myself come down on that, they do,” Saker told local media.
“We know it was the wrong thing to do and he probably identified that quite quickly. We all did. But I think what happened afterwards was a bit of a beat-up.
“There’s still a chance of (recruiting Gayle).
“To be fair we probably need an overseas bowler though. We’re looking at whether to go down that track or to recruit a bowler from inside Australia.
“So we’re going through whether we need to re-sign Chris Gayle.”
One of the world’s most devastating limited overs batsmen, the former West Indies captain celebrated a second World Twenty20 win in India last month.
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