West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle, who is playing for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League, has come under stern criticism for his comments during an interview with a female TV presenter in his team;s victory over Hobart Hurricanes.
Gayle, who plays for the Melbourne Renegades in the T20 competition, was speaking to McLaughlin after he made a quickfire 41 runs of 15 balls in his team’s victory in Tasmania.
After answering McLaughlin’s initial questions about his performance and on-field partnership with Australian Aaron Finch, the 36-year-old player turned sleazy.
She asked the batsman on his aggressive batting to which he replied: “I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well. That’s the reason why I’m here, just to see your eyes for the first time. It’s nice so. Hopefully we can win this game and have a drink after. Don’t blush, baby.”
McLaughlin, who appeared uncomfortable as a result of Gayle’s remarks, said ‘I’m not blushing’, as she attempted to continue with the interview. After being asked about an injury he suffered, Gayle said he hoped to stay on the field for the remainder of the series, before adding: ‘hopefully I can recover and look in your eyes.’
The Channel 10 host quickly ended the interview after the West Indian’s final comment, wishing him luck for the rest of the tournament.
Big Bash League’s chief executive Anthony Everard released a statement shortly after the incident which said: “I heard Chris’ comments and they are disrespectful and simply inappropriate. We’ll certainly be talking to him and the Renegades about it. This league is all about its appeal to kids, families and females,” he said. “There’s just no place in the BBL — or, for that matter, cricket anywhere — for that sort of behavior,” he added.
Channel 10 commentator Mark Howard later apologised to the viewers saying that Chris Gayle went too far in his interview with Mel McLaughlin. “We won’t be using (Gayle) in the game (BBL) anymore. Unless things change in the next few days, it’s not happening,” David Barham, Channel 10 head of sport, told the Herald Sun.
Channel Ten had tweeted the incident’s video with ‘#smooth’. The tweeted has since been deleted.
Social media reaction to the incident was instant, with many critical of Gayle’s ‘sexist’ behaviour.