Explosive West Indies opener Chris Gayle has hit back at his board saying he was forced to skip the home series against Pakistan and play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
"I was actually forced to make this decision based on what was happening around me and based on what has happened to current players (Ramnaresh) Sarwan and (Shivnaraine) Chanderpaul," Gayle said.
Sarwan and Chanderpaul were dropped from the Twenty20 squad and first two ODIs against Pakistan. Gayle was also not selected as he was nursing an abdominal injury, but the opener said nobody spoke to him and he thought he was also left out.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) had said Gayle would have been considered for selection after assessment of his fitness. Gayle, however, made himself unavailable for the Pakistan series and decided to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL.
"I wanted to play and I wanted to represent West Indies. I didn't know what the future held. Two games can play, guys do well, Chris Gayle still will be sitting out," the left-handed batsman said on KLAS Sports Radio in Jamaica on Wednesday.
Gayle also claimed he was threatened by the board before the World Cup when asked whether the tournament contract was approved by the Players' Association. "I got a reply, copied to the three selectors and the coach and the lawyer and the CEO himself stating, Chris, we have someone on standby for you so if you don’t sign this contract right now, basically you will be replaced for the World Cup," Gayle said.
"That hurt me so much to believe that they are talking to a person who just captained West Indies and they are actually dealing with me like that."