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Sarwan ‘categorically’ denies hand in Gayle axing

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

The Chris Gayle-Jamaica Tallawahs controversy turned a new page on Thursday, when Ramnaresh Sarwan hit back at what he said were false allegations directed at him by Gayle, in a statement on Facebook.

Gayle had launched a tirade on the Tallawahs, after being released by them for the 2020 Caribbean Premier League, and Sarwan, the assistant coach of the franchise, had especially come in for criticism, with Gayle labelling Sarwan a “snake”, pointing out to his deceitful and untrustworthy ways.

Gayle had accused Sarwan of being chiefly responsible for his ouster from the franchise, but the latter has now come out and categorically denied any involvement. “I categorically deny any involvement in the decision or the decision-making process, which led to Gayle’s non-selection to represent the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) Tournament,” Sarwan was quoted as saying in a Facebook statement by ESPNcricinfo.

“In that video, he has levelled false allegations and tarnished the good name and reputation of a series of persons. I was the focus of most of the onslaughts. I reply, not because I feel that Gayle’s rantings are worthy of it, but because I feel that the public’s record must be set straight and also, to protect the character and careers of so many people, whose image he sought to besmirch.”

The Tallawahs had themselves, in a statement of their own, clarified that the decision to axe Gayle was made purely on business decisions and that Sarwan had nothing to do with it.

Sarwan, for his part, expressed shock at the attitude of his once-teammate with West Indies. Gayle and Sarwan were bedrocks of the West Indies batting through the early 2000s, with their association stretching even way beyond that, from their Under-19 days.

“Let me make it abundantly clear, that I have played with Gayle from the inception of my international career and I have always respected him as an extraordinary talent, a colleague and most importantly, a close friend. Hence, my utter shock by these scandalous allegations.”

Sarwan also invalidated Gayle’s claim that he had encouraged youngsters to be disrespectful towards the big-hitting opening batsman and expressed concern that Gayle may have set the wrong precedent for cricketers to find the right outlet to air their grievances.

“I absolutely reject Gayle’s allegation that I encouraged foreign players to disrespect him,” Sarwan said. “I really do not understand how he came to such a conclusion and this simply is not true.

“My deep concern, is that young and upcoming players who regard Gayle as a role model, may think that this is an acceptable way of addressing problems which may befall them in their careers.”

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