Gayle is hurt by IPL omission

West Indies big-hitter Chris Gayle is disappointed at being overlooked by Indian Premier League franchises.

Gayle, who is currently playing for Western Australia in the Twenty20 Big Bash, played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous IPL editions, but found no takers for the fourth season at the Bangalore auction last weekend.

“I am sure all those franchises, they know what I am capable of and I have got nothing to prove,” Gayle said.

“Unfortunately things did not come off for me in the IPL, I am disappointed but I still have to live my life and move forward. I have got a job here with WA and I am trying to fulfil that.”

Gayle was not the only person surprised by his own omission from the 2011 Indian Premier League. Gayle’s failure to secure a place in the ten-team tournament also shocked former West Indies pacer Tony Gray.

“Chris Gayle, although he had some injuries when he took part in the last IPL and during other Twenty20 leagues around the world, with his talent and explosive batting, I thought he would have been one of the players who would be snapped up very quickly,” Gray said.

Brian Lara’s omission also came as a surprise to Gray who believes the 41-year-old left hand batsman would have brought “a little more mystique” to the tournament, especially in light of the attention garnered by the long list of former greats who were part of the tournament in the past. “Although the IPL has its greats, I though Lara would have generated some interest,” Gray added.

Gayle was one of three West Indies players to reject West Indies Cricket Board retainer contracts. However, Gray believes as a professional, Gayle weighed his options and made the right decision.

Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard were the other two who refused retainer contracts, but both will be part of this year’s IPL. Bravo’s contract was picked up by reigning champions, Chennai Super Kings, for US$200,000 on the first day of the IPL auction on Saturday, while Pollard was one of only four players who were retained by Mumbai Indians ahead of the auction.

“I think Pollard, Bravo and Gayle had a decision to make and people must not be angry with them,” Gray said. He added the trio’s decision was one taken “professionally” and he does not think it is a bad thing for them to make that decision to secure their financial future, especially for those who make their living as professional sportsmen.

He said as an athlete, your career is not always guaranteed to be long and prosperous due to unforeseen circumstances such as injuries.

Asked whether Gayle’s IPL bust would affect other players’ decision concerning WICB retainer contracts, Gray said: “It is a professional decision. If you weigh your talents and you know for a fact that you are marketable and you have an opportunity to make more money, especially outside the West Indies, then you have to make that decision.

“I think when you are starting off, you can take the retainer contract and then you can weigh your options. I am not angry with them because, in the West Indies, we really don’t help former and present players.”