Gayle: “I have no respect for Curtly Ambrose whatsoever”

- Left-hander plans to be “disrespectful” to former players who do not support the team

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Chris Gayle had stern words for Sir Curtly Ambrose after the former West Indies fast bowler said that the batter wouldn’t be his automatic pick in the West Indies XI for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which begins on Sunday in UAE.

Gayle hit back at Ambrose saying he has “no respect” for the former player and that he is “finished” with him.

“I am speaking about Curtly Ambrose. I am singling out Curtly Ambrose, one of your own. I highly respected him when I came into the West Indies team,” Gayle told The Island Tea Morning Show, a radio station in St Kitts, on Tuesday.

“When I just joined the team, I looked up to this man. But I am now speaking from my heart. I don’t know what, since he retired, what he had against Chris Gayle. Those negative things he has been saying within the press, I don’t know if he is looking for attention, but he is getting the attention. So I am just giving back the attention which he requires and which he needs.

“I can tell you personally, and you can let him know that Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, have no respect for Curtly Ambrose whatsoever.”

Sir Curtly Ambrose

Gayle, who was part of the 2012 and 2016 World Cup-winning teams, added that if former West Indies players “continue to be negative” and not support the team, then the “Universe Boss is going to be disrespectful, disrespectful verbally in their face”.

“I am finished with Curtly Ambrose,” Gayle, 42, said. “I have no respect, any time I see him I will tell him as well — ‘Stop being negative, support the team ahead of the World Cup.’ This team has been selected and we need past players to support us. We need that, we don’t need negative energy. In other teams, their past players support their teams, why can’t our own support us in a big tournament like this?

“We have won the tournament twice, and we will be going for the third title. The team has seen what is happening. It is going to reflect on the team. I am not going to take anything from any senior player. Curtly Ambrose pull your socks up, alright? Support for West Indies, ok? Support West Indies, that is the thing.”

Last week, Ambrose spoke about Gayle’s recent lack of form going into the World Cup. Since the start of 2021, Gayle has accumulated just 227 runs in 16 T20Is, averaging 17.46 with a lone fifty to his name.

The opener had left the IPL bubble to stay fresh for the global tournament after playing just two matches – where he scored 1 and 14 – for the Punjab Kings in the UAE leg of the tournament. Before the IPL, Gayle had scored 165 runs at an average of 18.33 in nine matches for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

Though Ambrose felt that if Gayle gets going, “he can still be destructive”, he said the batter “hasn’t done much in the last 18 months to convince me that he will set the World Cup alight.”

“For me, Gayle is definitely not an automatic choice for starting,” Ambrose said on a radio talk show in Barbados. “When you look at his exploits over the last 18 months, he has struggled not only for the West Indies, but other T20 franchises. The few home series we played, he hasn’t had any scores of significance.” (ESPNcricinfo)

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