Chris Gayle I AFP
Dubai: A comment by former West Indian fast bowler Curtly Ambrose that Chris Gayle will not be his automatic pick in the Playing XI for the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman has angered the 'Universe Boss', who has hit back, saying, "I have no respect" for the legendary pace bowler.
Gayle, who created quite a stir by abruptly quitting the Punjab Kings bio-bubble during the IPL 2021 Dubai leg recently to "mentally refresh" himself for the ICC T20 World Cup, was a part of the 2012 and 2016 West Indies World Cup-winning sides.
"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 said on The Island Tea Morning Show, a St Kitts-based radio station, 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," added Gayle.
Gayle said that Ambrose "continues to be negative" about the team, adding that "we don't need negative energy" ahead of a crucial campaign.
"I am finished with Curtly Ambrose," the 42-year-old Gayle 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."
"This team has been selected and we need past players to support us. We need that, we don't need negative energy"
Ambrose recently targeted Gayle for his lack of form as he prepares for the T20 World Cup. This year, the hot-shot cricketer has just scored 227 runs in 16 T20Is, averaging 17.46.
"For me, Gayle is definitely not an automatic choice for starting," Ambrose had said on a radio 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."