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Gayle courting controversy again

Cricket

A week after being reprimanded for his behaviour, Chris Gayle is again courting controversy following his nonchalant showing in last night’s Melbourne Renegades’ Big Bash League victory over the Sydney Thunder.

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Gayle was widely panned by the commentators and on social media after seemingly refusing to take an easy single during his side’s five-wicket win at Spotless Stadium.

The self-proclaimed “world boss” blasted the ball to long off but despite the fielder being 90 metres from the stumps, then turned back his batting partner Tom Cooper.

He was made to look even worse the next ball when he chipped Clint McKay to Fawad Ahmed at fine leg, throwing away his strong start of 28 off 20 balls.

His unwillingness to turn over the strike and take an easy run in what was shaping as a tight run chase, after the Thunder posted 5-173 from their 20 overs, raised eyebrows.

Even Cooper seemed to be miffed by the Caribbean big-hitters’ attitude, saying during the Channel 10 broadcast: “It wasn’t a good bit of cricket”.

The intentions of the man himself remained a mystery after he refused interviews following the game.

Gayle has been battered from pillar to post over the last week following an interview in which he propositioned female broadcaster Mel McLaughlin during a live interview.

However, Renegades captain Cameron White leapt to the controversial opener’s defence.

White said he understood why Gayle turned Ross back and probably believed there wasn’t a run in it because he hit it directly to a fielder.

He also said Gayle was not a problem behind the scenes and described his influence on the Renegades dressingroom as positive.

“This is my first experience with him in a Twenty20 side,” White said.

“I played against him a lot of times. I’ve never had any dramas playing against him or since he’s been in this change room. He offers good support on the field.”

Thunder pair Michael Hussey and Usman Khawaja also went to the aid of Gayle and refused to condemn him.

Hussey said it was Gayle’s job to score quick runs during the power play and predicted he was backing his ability to go after the Thunder attack.

-AAP

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