Gayle, the energetic fan, whips up a storm | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Gayle, the energetic fan, whips up a storm

The defining moment in the final one-day game at the Sabina Park on Thursday perhaps came as the ball raced for the winning boundary. The normally reticent Marlon Samuels leapt in the air, punched his fist, and then stunned everyone by sprinting across to a man in lime-green dress who had been cheering West Indies all afternoon.

cricket Updated: Jun 18, 2011 00:41 IST
N Ananthanarayanan

The defining moment in the final one-day game at the Sabina Park on Thursday perhaps came as the ball raced for the winning boundary. The normally reticent Marlon Samuels leapt in the air, punched his fist, and then stunned everyone by sprinting across to a man in lime-green dress who had been cheering West Indies all afternoon.

Samuels clasped the hands of fellow Jamaican Chris Gayle, who was sitting on the railing at the party enclosure waving a small white towel as West Indies chased the target. He also kept up a friendly banter with Virat Kohli, his IPL teammate with Bangalore Royal Challengers who was fielding at the boundary.

Kieron Pollard, the other unbeaten batsman instantly turned and waved to Gayle in a clear message of solidarity with the man whose career is uncertain due to his clash with the West Indies Cricket Board.

Is Gayle a rebel or a hero, the controversy has gripped every cricketing conversation in the Caribbean and the board has been reluctant to say anything about a meeting on Tuesday with the player and his representatives that failed.

The explosive batsman looked intent on making a statement before his home fans as he sat on the railing sipping a drink, surrounded by friends.

People walked up to chat with the man. Young fans — and there were not many people in the stadium to watch a weak West Indies side — shouted to him from nearby galleries and Gayle posed for photographs and signed autographs.

The Caribbean fans are resigned to the course the players' dispute with the board will take, but are unanimous that the battle is only harming West Indies cricket.

Gayle, waving the white towel, did not appear to be in the mood to surrender. He tweeted: “Cricket Nice like a pie…Stand For Something…Or Fall For Anything!!!”