Eight days after West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle passed sexist and inappropriate comments to a woman TV reporter in Australia, the ICC’s Chief Executive Dave Richardson said here today that while the situation was avoidable he saw no reason for the game to be worried over it.
“Yes, it could have been avoided. (But) I don’t think cricket needs to worry about it. I think it can move on from here,” said former South Africa wicket keeper batsman Richardson to reporters here today.
Richardson was reacting to a query on the raging issue on the sidelines of the function to announce MoneyGram’s association with the world cricket body for eight more years after first coming on board before the ICC WorldT20 held in the West Indies in 2010.
It was Richardson who opened the gate for the later query from a reporter by saying during the media conference that the viewership of ICC cricket events has shown that it was watched by 40 per cent women.
“Despite Chris Gayle 40 per cent of viewers of ICC cricket tournaments are female. Our strategy is to use the T20 format to attract the females the world over to watch them,” said Richardson.
Swashbuckling opener Gayle had asked channel 10 sports journalist Mel McLaughlin for a drink after the Big Bash League game in Hobart last Monday and then proceeded to tell her ‘don’t blush, baby’, for which he was subsequently fined 10,000 Australian dollars.
Gayle plays for the Melbourne Renegades in Australia’s T20 Big Bash League.
Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry formally apologised to the concerned TV reporter through a statement saying ‘Chris’s comments were completely inappropriate and disrespectful’.