Somerset dismayed by new Gayle controversy


West Indies opener Chris Gayle is set to play in the Natwest T20 Blast for Somerset, but the club have expressed disappointment to see the controversial player embroiled in another sexism drama.

Gayle was infamously reprimanded during the Big Bash League earlier this year after propositioning reporter Mel McLaughlin while she tried to interview him, saying, 'Don't blush, baby' when she rejected his advances.

This time, he was quoted in the Times by journalist Charlotte Edwardes, suggestively telling her he has "a very, very big bat, the biggest in the wooooorld. You think you could lift it? You'd need two hands."

He is also quoted as asking her if she'd ever had a threesome, adding: "I bet you have. Tell me."

Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender told Press Association: "We were disappointed to read the report in The Times.

"Our experience of Chris was very positive when he was with us last season, both on and off the pitch.

"It was disappointing to read the article.

"We haven't had the opportunity to discuss this with him yet, but will of course do so when he arrives to play for us in a few days' time."

Lavender then added that while it was disappointing, the club wouldn't go so far as to sack Gayle: "Players are the ambassadors of the club.

"We have a good track record of signing mavericks, Ian Botham and Viv Richards being examples, but we take conduct seriously.

"It’s a shame because it detracts from his cricketing ability. But I don't see it as grounds not to have him playing for us this summer."