Chris Gayle: Controversial comments in TV interview 'meant as a little fun'

Chris Gayle claims his controversial remarks to a female journalist earlier this year were blown out of proportion and insisted he "meant it as a joke".

The 36-year-old was criticised for asking female Australian reporter Mel McLaughlin out on a date in a live television interview during a Big Bash game in January.

The West Indies batsman told McLaughlin: "I wanted to see your eyes for the first time, hopefully we can win this game and then we can have a drink after as well". Gayle then added: "Don't blush, baby."

Chris Gayle has faced criticism for his recent controversial comments

Chris Gayle has faced criticism for his recent controversial comments

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was among those to condemn the actions of Gayle, who was speaking during Melbourne Renegades' clash with Hobart Hurricanes.

But Gayle, speaking in an extract from his autobiography, believes the comments were taken too seriously and also hit back at his critics.

Quoted in The Times, Gayle said: "I meant it as a joke. I meant it as a little fun. I didn't mean to be disrespectful and I didn't mean it to be taken serious.

"Channel 10's commentary team could be heard laughing in the background... but someone above them clearly decided to step in, and a throwaway comment in a fun format escalates and blows up and within hours it has turned into a major international incident.

"It all came down upon me. Ex-cricketers and former team-mates bringing things up, making comments to the media, saying things they never said to my face.

"Some parts of the media throwing petrol on the flames, chasing me round airports, accusing me of things I've never done and would never do.

"People I thought I could trust turning into cartoon characters. Andrew Flintoff, tweeting out: "Big fan of @henrygayle but made himself look a bit of a chop there".

"The only chop Freddie knows is when he used to bowl short to me and I would chop him past backward point for four."

On Saturday Gayle was facing fresh allegations of sexism after a series of controversial comments to Charlotte Edwardes in an article for the Times magazine.

According to the piece, Gayle said he has "a very, very big bat, the biggest in the wooooorld". He said to Edwardes: "You think you could lift it? You'd need two hands."

The article adds that Gayle asked Edwardes how many black men she has "had", and also asked if she had ever had a "t'eesome".

"I bet you have. Tell me," he is quoted as saying.

Gayle, who is currently featuring for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, has signed a contract to play for Somerset in the Natwest T20 Blast this summer.

Speaking about the Edwardes incident, Somerset chief executive Guy Lavender told Press Association Sport on Saturday: "We were disappointed to read the report in The Times.

"Our experience of Chris was very positive when he was with us last season, both on and off the pitch.

"It was disappointing to read the article.

"We haven't had the opportunity to discuss this with him yet, but will of course do so when he arrives to play for us in a few days' time."

In the piece in the Times, Gayle later says: "Women should have equality and they do have equality. They have more than equality. Women can do what they want. Jamaican women are very vocal. They will let you know what time it is, for sure."

However, he adds: "Women should please their man. When he comes home, food is on the table. Serious. You ask your husband what he likes and then you make it."

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