SYDNEY. — The Melbourne Renegades fined star opener Chris Gayle $7 000 yesterday after an attempt to flirt with a female presenter on live TV which cricket authorities condemned as “completely out of line”. Ten Network reporter Mel McLaughlin found herself being asked out for a drink during an interview with the burly West Indian after he blasted 41 runs off 15 balls in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) late on Monday.
Live on air, Gayle – who later insisted he was just joking – said he was happy to be interviewed by McLaughlin “just to see your eyes for the first time”. “Nice, so hopefully we can win this game and we can have a drink after,” he said.
“Don’t blush baby,” the Jamaican added, prompting the unimpressed McLaughlin to shake her head and reply, “I’m not blushing.” “Sorry,” added Gayle, breaking into a big laugh.
Cricket Australia and Big Bash League officials did not see the funny side of what Gayle later said was meant as a joke. Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland offered support for McLaughlin, saying that no one should have to face such comments which were “completely out of line” and “inappropriate for the workplace”.
He said Gayle was not in a “nightclub” and his behaviour was “not cool”. “I think that anyone who sees humour in that is misunderstanding and somewhat delusional about the situation,” Sutherland added. With the governing body leaving open a threat of sanctions, the Renegades quickly announced a fine. — AFP.