Chris Gayle: Former team-mate Chris Rogers criticises batsman over comments to Mel McLaughlin

Former Australia batsman Chris Rogers played with Gayle at Sydney Thunder

Tuesday 05 January 2016 15:17
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Melbourne Renegades batsman Chris Gayle
Melbourne Renegades batsman Chris Gayle

Former Australia batsman Chris Rogers admits he is "not a fan" of Chris Gayle after criticising him for his pitchside comments to journalist Mel McLaughlin.

Gayle caused a storm when questioned by Channel 10 reporter McLaughlin after being dismissed playing for Melbourne Renegades in Australia's Big Bash League, the West Indies batsman suggesting in the live television interview they should go out at the end of the match.

"I wanted to see your eyes for the first time, hopefully we can win this game and then we can have a drink after as well," he said.

Gayle then added to McLaughlin: "Don't blush, baby."

The 36-year-old was roundly condemned for his comments and fined 10,000 dollars by the Renegades despite later apologising to McLaughlin.

Rogers, a former team-mate of Gayle's at Sydney Thunder, waded into the row by saying he had been disappointed with the batsman's attitude in the past and claimed the latest comments were proof of a "pattern of behaviour".

Those remarks will be met with interest by English county Somerset as Rogers and Gayle could be united again at Taunton next summer.

Rogers, who retired from Test cricket after last summer's Ashes series, is joining Somerset for the 2016 season, while Gayle could return for another spell at the county for the NatWest T20 Blast competition.

"It's difficult because he could be at Somerset with me next season," Rogers told ABC Radio in Sydney.

"But I wouldn't have liked to be on air, I wouldn't have laughed.

Chris Gayle flirts with interviewer live on air

"From my time at the Thunder I was very disappointed with his attitude and his behaviour, and I've not been a fan since.

"People see these one-offs, but this is a pattern of behaviour. If you know the guy, you see it over and over. To defend it, I think, is not right at all.

"I listen to that and I dont think it's funny at all - he says it's just a joke, well it's not just a joke, is it?

BBL boss Anthony Everard described Gayle's remarks as "disrespectful and simply inappropriate", while McLaughin was reported to be "angry and upset" over the incident.

Gayle insists he was joking, though, and has offered a full apology to McLaughlin.

"A lot of things have flared up from a simple comment, a joke, a simple joke on air and it seemed to went out of proportion," Gayle said at a press conference at Melbourne airport.

"There wasn't anything at all meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel and if she felt that way I'm really sorry for that.

"There wasn't any harm meant in that particular way to any particular person like that.

"It was a simple joke, the game was going on. Entertainment, things get out of proportion but these things do happen.

"There wasn't any harm done, I'll leave it at that. I'm sorry for that, we'll have to move on."

But Rogers responded to the apology by adding: "He's basically saying 'oh, well if she feels bad about it then I'm sorry about that'.

"He's not actually saying that he's sorry that he said it, and that is disappointing. He has to realise at some stage."

"If I had been at the Thunder the next season, it would have been my advice that he wouldn't have been anywhere near the set-up.

"That's the reason, I think, he hasn't played in the BBL for quite a while, because that was what was said."

Melbourne Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry said in a statement on the club website: "Chris' comments were completely inappropriate and disrespectful. There is simply no place for these type of comments at the Melbourne Renegades.

"The club would like to extend a formal apology to Mel McLaughlin. Mel is an outstanding sports presenter. We think of her very highly and the club and players will ensure we work with her in a professional and respectful manner in future.

"We've had several discussions with Chris over the past day and he has acknowledged that his comments were out of line.

"We would also like to formally apologise to our members, supporters and the wider public for offence caused. The club is based on values of respect towards every member of the community.

"As a result of his comments, the Renegades have fined Chris 10,000 for inappropriate conduct. The club will subsequently donate this amount to the McGrath Foundation in recognition of Jane McGrath day today."

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