Feudwatch: Chris Gayle v Curtly Ambrose

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Is it at all possible that Chris Gayle is being just a tiny bit thin-skinned here? Maybe he’s secretly worried that Curtly Ambrose has a point.

Curtly Ambrose isn’t sure Chris Gayle should automatically get a place in the West Indies’ first choice XI at the T20 World Cup.

This seems a not unreasonable suggestion. The West Indies have a fair few accomplished and destructive T20 batters and Gayle has been in no kind of form whatsoever.

You can’t expect to make these kinds of comments about Gayle without some sort of response though.

To provide some context, Gayle has made one fifty in 16 T20 internationals this year and averaged 17.46. He also averaged 18.33 across nine matches in the CPL before making 1 and 14 in his two recent appearances at the IPL.

Gayle is the best T20 batter there’s been, so you wouldn’t rule out a turnaround and in fact Ambrose conceded as much, saying, “he can still be destructive.”

The issue for Gayle is that Ambrose also said that he, “hasn’t done much in the last 18 months to convince me that he will set the World Cup alight. For me, Gayle is definitely not an automatic choice for starting. When you look at his exploits over the last 18 months, he has struggled not only for the West Indies, but other T20 franchises.”

Gayle’s response?

“I can tell you personally – and you can let him know – that Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, have no respect for Curtly Ambrose whatsoever. I am finished with Curtly Ambrose.”

That’s an actual quote.

The comments came on The Island Tea Morning Show, where he then revealed some sort of fundamental internal confusion between ‘support for Chris Gayle’ and ‘support for the West Indies’.

“I have no respect,” he said. “Any time I see him I will tell him as well: ‘Stop being negative. Support the team ahead of the World Cup.’ This team has been selected and we need past players to support us. We need that. We don’t need negative energy. In other teams, their past players support their teams, why can’t our own support us in a big tournament like this?”

Ambrose might argue that he is supporting the team by championing other squad members. Maybe when you’re a 42-year-old international cricketer, comments like that feel more like attacks.

Concluding with the serene dignity afforded to only the very few, Gayle said that if former players continue to be negative and not support the team, then the, “Universe Boss is going to be disrespectful – disrespectful verbally in their face.”

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  1. I can’t work out from his response if Chris Gayle is referring to himself in the first person, third person, as an alter ego or the “royal we”.

    1. Take if from us, it’s hard to maintain consistency when you adopt that kind of artifice.

    2. “Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, have no respect…”

      My first thought was wow, the plural third-person. Difficult to pull off in ordinary life.

  2. Excellent Laurence Elderbrooking in the last paragraph. What’s he up to these days? Presumably having a go at Chris Silverwood for not picking him for England, from behind a goblet of gin?

  3. That quote is brilliance itself.

    “I can tell you personally – and you can let him know – that Deep Cower have no respect for XXXXX whatsoever. I am finished with XXXXX”. Henceforth, this will be my standard response to any XXXXXX who pisses me off. Unless XXXXX happens to be my boss or my boss’ boss or somewhere in the upper hierarchy. In which case my response would be the same, but unspoken.

  4. Curtly and The Universe Boss barely overlapped as players – they played a handful of tests together in 2000, one of which I witnessed live:


    At that stage of his career, The Universe Boss was merely The Tryout Kid who was possibly in and possibly out of the team. He debuted in a brace of home tests against Zimbabwe in March, then was dropped for the Pakistan home series ahead of the flight to England.

    I believe Gayle only played the one test in that wonderful 2000 series. He failed to score a run in his sole innings yet he was in the West Indies side on the single occasion that they won a test that summer. Curtly, on the other hand, bowled his heart out through the series and retired at The Oval.

    Context, my friends, context.

  5. I’d prefer to eschew all americanisms, but it is troubling to read this posting during the runup to the Universe Boss’ national holiday.

    nb—”Hallmark Cards did not offer a Boss’ Day card for sale until 1979.”—the year of his birth.

    1. OMG – a quarter century of hurt. I’ve been an employer for that long without so much as a nod towards Bosses Day from the miserable, ungrateful staff. Worse yet, until Patrick’s posting I had no idea that such a grotesque “holiday” even existed.

      I also had to look up the notion of Chris Gayle being The Universe Boss and discovered that the term has at least a little bit of vintage:


      But I’d prefer to think that Gayle had coined the term in order to honour players other than himself, only to discover, to his initial horror and then eventually acquiescence, that people had carelessly coined the grandiose moniker for Gayle himself. Would such a scenario be possible, in your opinion, KC?

      1. We can definitely envisage a scenario where such a thing could happen. We imagine that he mostly forgets nowadays but then every now and again sees the name and thinks: “Aww jeez, how did I get landed with what must seem to all who see it to be a ridiculously self-aggrandising moniker when I never even intended it for myself?”

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