Dear Chris . . .
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has given Chris Gayle the option to retire from international cricket if he can’t commit himself fully to representing the regional team.
The board’s latest position comes against the background that the controversial opening batsman has requested an unconditional No-Objection Certificate (NOC) for global domestic Twenty20 tournaments.
In an email to Gayle from WICB chief executive officer Dr Ernest Hilaire, the board said it believed that it was justifiable to ask a first-team player who requested an NOC to accept a condition that he make himself available, if selected, for international commitments which may clash with that tournament.
Hilaire told Gayle that if a player had no contractual obligation to the WICB and did not wish to make himself available to play in international matches for which he may be selected, he had the option of ceasing to be a first-team player, by retiring from international cricket, or otherwise declaring himself ineligible and/or unavailable for selection for the foreseeable future.
“In that event, the WICB would not consider it necessary or appropriate to issue a player with anything but an unconditional NOC,” Hilaire said.
“So, Chris, it is your choice, whether you receive a conditional or unconditional NOC. But you cannot have an unconditional NOC and be considered for selection to play for the West Indies.
“Either you wish to make yourself available to play for the West Indies, in which case you must accept that NOCs will be granted to you on the same conditional terms as other international players, or you do not, in which case you can have your unconditional NOC. All that is required from you is a clear statement, one way or the other.”
In the four-page letter to Gayle dated January 30, Hilaire also reiterated the board’s position that the former West Indies captain would not be considered for selection to the West Indies team until he withdrew statements made in a radio interview last April.
In response to Gayle’s earlier communication that the WICB outline what he must apologize for, the board has quoted certain sections of the interview which it considered inappropriate.
“The intention was not to have you refer to each comment and apologize for each. The board requires you to provide a general public retraction of the comments made in the interview in question and the effect it has had on the team, coach, captain and management and to express a commitment to team and management,” Hilaire said.
“If the terms of that retraction can be agreed, WICB will be happy to consider you eligible once again for selection, although it is interesting that your position on availability to play for the West Indies continues to be uncertain and changes with each email.
“However, that would be subject to resolution of one further issue. You say in your email that ‘it is for me to consider whether I accept selection once the WICB has selected me.’ On further reflection, I trust that you will acknowledge that a player who wishes to be considered eligible for selection must commit himself to play if selected.”