YES! Chris Gayle was wrong to proposition Australian journalist Mel McLaughlin during the live-television interview.After all, the big Jamaican paid his US$7,000 fine and he apologised to Ms McIntosh, who duly accepted his apology, but somehow this issue just won’t go away.Some of us dare to opine that this issue has been massively blown out of proportion and that the “sin” of pursuing a woman, even though executed inappropriately and unprofessionally, in no way merits the level of vitriolic and fervent attacks and criticisms that have come the way of the swashbuckling left-handed batsman.That position is in some quarters being misconstrued to mean unequivocal support for Gayle.There appears to be an intolerant unwillingness to entertain any semblance of independence of thought on this issue, which has now ballooned beyond the point of the denouncement and condemnation of Gayle’s actions.There now appears to be much more than meets the eye swirling around Gayle’s awkward, almost embarrassing attempt at flirting with the Aussie journalist, with the introduction of agenda-laced terms such as sexual harassment, sexism, and misogyny, which forces one to wonder if the legitimate cries against Gayle’s actions have not now totally lost credibility.DOUBLE STANDARDThere is the glaring double standard and hypocrisy as it relates to tennis superstar Maria Sharapova’s equally unprofessional and inappropriate flirtation with a male journalist in the very same country, Australia. The disparity in how those moments were treated compared to how Gayle’s indiscretions have been treated locally and internationally stinks to the high heavens.Again, some of us dare to ask the question, why?When one prominent Australian commentator, Ian Chappell, the man who, incidentally, committed the far worse offence of dropping his pants in the middle of a domestic game in Australia while he was Australia’s captain, when such a compromised character comes out and advocates a worldwide ban for Chris Gayle, where else can the rational mind go but to a place that says a black man from the Caribbean is prohibited from setting his personal sights on such a symbol of white Australian beauty.Another instructive dynamic is the level of condemnation coming the way of Gayle from his fellow Jamaicans.While understanding the emotional rebuff to a prominent and successful Jamaican man choosing to pursue a foreign white woman, substantively ignoring his black Jamaican girls, outside of the understandable emotional backlash from that dynamic, there seems to be a wider, and more strident, conviction to get Chris Gayle from his very own people.Another stark reminder of our propensity as a people to tear down our own, I think Jamaicans are more expert at doing that than any other nationality in the world. We really do epitomise the ‘crab in barrell’ syndrome. If Chris Gayle was of any other nationality, he would absolutely get more support from his own people.As was the case when he strolled into the middle in the very next Big Bash game after the controversy erupted – where he was welcomed to rapturous applause by the Australian crowd – he was even hugged by an Australian woman. But with all of that healing and reconciliation taking place Down Under, here in Jamaica, the desperate hunt is on for even more of Chris Gayle’s blood. Gofigure!
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh, (CMC):Half-centuries from Keemo Paul and Gidron Pope failed to save West Indies Under-19s from a 61-run loss to England Under-19s in their opening game of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup here Friday.Chasing an imposing 283 for victory at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, West Indies collapsed for 221 all out off 43.4 overs, with Paul top scoring with an aggressive 65 and opener Pope gathering an equally fluent run-a-ball 60.However, the Caribbean side were hamstrung by the loss of two wickets off the first four deliveries of the innings and never recovered.Fast bowler Saqib Mahmood tormented the Windies with four for 42 while left-arm seamer Sam Curran (2-23) and leg-spinner Dan Lawrence (2-38) provided support with two wickets apiece.Earlier, England paced their innings well to reached 282 for seven off their 50 overs, after opting to bat first.Callum Taylor, with 59 and Lawrence, 55, stroked half-centuries while George Bartlett struck 48, James Burnham, 44, and Curran, 39.Pope was the best West Indies bowler, picking up two for 45 with his off spin.England benefited from several partnerships early on which provided the ideal foundation.Lawrence, who faced 56 balls and counted eight fours, posted 43 for the first wicket with Max Holden (4) before adding a further 41 for the second wicket with Burnham.When Lawrence was bowled by off-spinner Michael Frew in the 15th over, Burnham and Taylor put on 62 for the third wicket to give England momentum at the half-way stage of the innings.Pope got the breakthrough in the 28th over when he removed Burnham caught and bowled but Bartlett anchored two key partnerships to sustain the momentum, posting 50 for the fourth wicket with Taylor and another 67 for the fifth wicket with Curran.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP):The IAAF’s ethics board yesterday rejected an appeal from the CEO of Kenya’s track and field federation against his provisional suspension for allegedly soliciting bribes from two athletes.Isaac Mwangi was provisionally suspended in February after The Associated Press first reported the allegations from runners Joy Sakari and Francisca Koki Manunga.Mwangi challenged that decision in March.In a statement, the ethics board said it has dismissed his challenge.Sakari and Manunga are serving four-year bans for doping at the 2015 world championships. In an AP interview, they said Athletics Kenya CEO Mwangi asked them each for a US$24,000 bribe to reduce their suspensions. They said he asked for the payment in an October 16 meeting, but that they could not raise the money. They then were informed of their four-year bans in a November 27 email, but never filed a criminal complaint because, they said, they had no proof to back up their bribery accusation and also feared repercussions.The ethics board said the athletes – who are both serving police officers – have since reiterated their allegations in signed written statements.”They state that the accounts that they gave The Associated Press, and the content of The Associated Press article dated 10 February 2016, are true,” the ethics board said.Mwangi’s challenge countered that the athletes are “cheats” and “liars” and that “their evidence should not be trusted”, the ethics board said.Yesterday, Mwangi told the AP that he now wanted a public hearing “so that we can meet these accusers”.NO ALIBIWhen presented with the allegations in February, Mwangi denied meeting the athletes. In its decision, the IAAF’s ethics board said he provided no alibi. The board also said his defence that he could not have influenced their doping cases was “not wholly convincing”.The board said Mwangi has not “identified anything” that sufficiently undermines the probe for his 180-day provisional suspension to be lifted.Sakari and Manunga told AP the alleged October 16 meeting took place at AK’s headquarters in Nairobi.The ethics board said Mwangi “accepts that both he and the athletes were indeed present in the Athletics Kenya offices in Riadha House on the day in question”, but says he could not have met them because his schedule was “very tight”.The board said the probe should continue.The ethics board’s decision to reject the appeal now frees up the IAAF investigator in Kenya, Sharad Rao, to begin a formal investigation of Mwangi, Rao said.Rao is a former director of public prosecutions in Kenya and a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.The IAAF ethics board, through Rao, is also investigating three other senior executives from the Kenyan federation for alleged corruption.
EDMONTON, Canada, (CMC):Jamaican Dane Nelson laid down the marker on the opening day of the new season at Northlands Park, riding four winners to dominate the nine-race programme here Friday.The 31-year-old captured race three with 6-1 chance Harbor Gold, race four with 3-1 bet Onestaratatime, race eight with favourite Eustacia, before closing out the day with a strong victory aboard 14-1 outsider Doc.Former champion, Barbadian Quincy Welch, shared some of the headlines with a double, raising the curtain on the day’s action with victory aboard 2-1 bet Macho North and following up with success in race six with favourite Geaux Claire.