SYDNEY – West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle has become embroiled in a battle of words with out-of-favour Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin during his on-going stint in the KFC Big Bash.
Haddin, who has not played for Australia in recent times with the Aussie selectors favouring Matthew Wade behind the stumps, captains the Sydney Sixers, which are the state rivals of the out-of-form Jamaican’s Sydney Thunder.
Gayle, who has fallen on barren times with bat starting with the recent tour to Bangladesh, scored just nine runs as the Thunder extended their winless streak to six games with a four-wicket loss to the Sydney Sixers yesterday.
Haddin, who was one of Gayle’s two wickets in the game, hit out at the Jamaican following the result at Stadium Australia.
“He’s been all talk so far this tournament and they haven’t won a game,” said Haddin, who was involved in verbal byplay with Gayle before he was dismissed for 18.
“It’s disappointing to get out then. I was feeling pretty good, but at least the Thunder fans have seen Chris Gayle do something for his money,” Haddin said during his boundary interview with Fox Sports’ Jessica Yates.
Gayle, who celebrated with his Gangnam Style dance after dismissing Haddin, at first downplayed the comments.
“I’ve done a lot for (the Thunder) from last year,” he said.
“(Haddin) is going to be in my pocket just like Ricky [Ponting] and the rest of the big names who I got out.”
Gayle arrived at Thunder in a reported US$259,157 deal, but has scraped together just 70 runs from five innings. His latest failure came when he was yorked by left-arm seamer Josh Lalor in the fifth over as Thunder, choosing to bat first, tallied 132 for six off their 20 overs.
Usman Khawaja top-scored with 66 not out from 47 balls, while Gayle’s fellow West Indian Sunil Narine picked up one for 23 from four overs. In reply, Sixers reached their target with a full over to spare, thanks to an unbeaten 51 from Daniel Hughes. Gayle, who opened the bowling, conceded just 17 runs from four overs of tight off spin.
Gayle initially greeted Haddin when he walked out to bat and the pair looked to be on friendly terms as they jovially chatted in the middle of the field. But somewhere along the line the rivalry became more than just a friendly one, as Gayle repeatedly taunted Haddin for not playing a shot to balls he bowled to him. This eventually frustrated Haddin into playing a rash shot that resulted in him being caught in the deep, prompting the Gangnam Style celebration from Gayle.
Today Gayle tweeted just what he thought about Haddin.
“Haddin dig at himself to get back a test game! ScarFaceLine… “The World is Mine” I’m the world champion/ World Boss!
“Also tell him stop watch my money and watch himself!! Not my fault he ain’t good as I am even if I bat right hand!!!”
‘Sydney Thunder coach Shane Duff threw his support behind Gayle today, saying the powerful left-hander was upset he hadn’t been hitting form in a winless Thunder side.†
“It’s always the issue if you’re not scoring runs – people think he’s not trying. But I can assure you he’s giving his absolute best to the team. He’s just having a bad run at the moment. He’s a human being and he’s definitely hurt,” Duff said.
On the recent tour of Bangladesh Gayle failed across all three formats of the game, the two Tests, five One-Day Internationals and sole Twenty20 International.
This is not the first occasion that Haddin has clashed with a West Indies player. During the third Test at Perth in 2009 Haddin was involved in a three-way altercation that also involved Barbadian left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn and Aussie fast-bowler Mitchell Johnson that resulted in a ban for Benn and fines for Haddin and Johnson. Gayle was the West Indies captain at the time.†