The West Indies board is expected to go into a meeting with the selectors on Friday to seek a way forward in the crisis that the Chris Gayle affair has become, before they pick the squad for the first Test against India.
The explosive Jamaica batsman looks out for the current series against India despite the murderous form that won him the 'player-of-the-tournament' award in the IPL that ended last month, as his clash with the cricket board shows no sign of abating.
Gayle, the president of the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) and former West Indies player Dinanath Ramnarine, who represents the batsman, held a clear-the-air meeting with the board representatives, including CEO Ernest Hilaire and chief coach Ottis Gibson, on Tuesday. However, the meeting was marred by accusations from both sides, which means the batsman with two Test triple hundreds will stay out for the three-match series starting in Jamaica next week.
The board wants former skipper Gayle to apologise for comments made in a radio interview in April accusing the WICB of being insensitive to his injury woes, while the player and his party believe they should be taken as his personal views and ignored.
The controversy has been the talking point of cricket-loving Caribbean fans but it is clearly a battle of big egos, and a turf war over who should call the shots. Former great Viv Richards blamed both the board and the players' body for being adamant. Gayle, who has stayed away from the media, responded by tweeting on Thursday: "Will be Watching cricket from the Mound…I'm entitle to watch cricket where ever I want! Viv, Don't hate the Player, Hate the Game!!!"
It is no secret that Gayle and chief coach Ottis Gibson don't see eye to eye but the stand-off is likely to damage Gayle more as a player. A former WICB CEO blamed the players, saying their financial demands far outweighed their contribution on the field. "All other things like revenue to the board depend on various aspects. But a player has full control over his performance," he told HT.