Chris Gayle has denied allegations that he indecently exposed himself to a woman in Sydney during the 2015 World Cup. The Melbourne Renegades’ chief executive Stuart Coventry, whose team Gayle plays for in the BBL, is also the subject of scrutiny by Cricket Victoria for labelling the claims as “opportunistic”.
The alleged incident was reported by Fairfax Media, which claimed that the West Indies manager Richie Richardson had subsequently sent a communique to all team members about the need to be more respectful to women at the World Cup. However Gayle’s agent Simon Auteri delivered a blunt denial, along with a threat of legal action. Gayle had until Tuesday been a guest columnist with Fairfax.
“Chris denies the allegations published by Fairfax Media earlier today,” Auteri said in a statement. “It is important that anyone seeking to make false accusations against Chris be aware that Chris and his management will be considering all rights and legal options available. There will be no further comment from Chris or his management at this stage.”
When asked for his reactions to the allegations, Coventry said they were “opportunistic”, Fairfax Media reported. “Whatever third parties come out and make comments about incidents that happened in the past have nothing to do with us,” he said.
Cricket Australia officials were believed to be privately fuming at Coventry’s words on Wednesday morning, and Cricket Victoria chief executive Tony Dodemaide released a statement in late afternoon emphasising the status of the BBL as a competition designed to be welcoming to women. He went on to say that the comments attributed to Coventry were out of order.
“Cricket Victoria and its BBL teams are committed to demonstrating that our sport respects girls and women and we’re working incredibly hard to ensure that is the case,” Dodemaide said. “We certainly don’t condone the reported comments attributed to Stuart this morning and we’re looking into it further.”
The fresh allegations surfaced as a result of Gayle’s controversial televised exchange with the Ten Network BBL broadcaster Mel McLaughlin, for which the Renegades fined him $10,000. McLaughlin stated she accepted Gayle’s apology and wished to move on from the incident.