Hobart, AAP – Cricket superstar Chris Gayle’s attempt to flirt live on air with an TV presenter has backfired and sparked widespread condemnation.
Ten Network reporter Mel McLaughlin was left visibly disturbed on the sideline of Bellerive Oval last night when interviewing the former West Indies’ Test captain, who had just been dismissed for 41 off 15 balls as Melbourne Renegades chased down the Hobart Hurricanes.
‘Hopefully we can win this game and you and I can have a drink after,’ Gayle told the reporter who seemed dumbfounded at the statement.
The laughing batsman said his dismissal allowed him to ‘come to this interview to see you’ and went on to tell McLaughlin there was no need to blush.
Social media immediately lit up, labelling Gayle’s comments as sexist and an affront to women.
It sparked a prompt apology from the broadcaster who said Gayle’s comments were not endorsed and that measures will be taken to avoid future such occurrences.
Cricket Australia were quick to respond.
‘I heard Chris comments and they’re disrespectful and simply inappropriate,’ BBL boss Anthony Everard said in a statement.
Gayle and his side will be spoken to by officials.
‘This league is all about its appeal to kids, families and females,’ Everard added.
‘There’s just no place in the BBL – or, for that matter, cricket anywhere – for that sort of behaviour.’
Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry echoed the response and team skipper Aaron Finch said the parties involved had addressed the matter.
‘Chris has apologised to Mel,’ he said after play.
‘As an organisation we don’t condone it.
‘Between Chris and everyone else, they’ve addressed it … he’s apologised.’
The incident comes at a time when Cricket Australia is trying hard to promote the sport to women.
Monday saw the announcement of an annual Governor-General XI’s match for touring women’s sides.