Watson not surprised by Gayle as Chappell calls for ban


Sydney Thunder all-rounder Shane Watson was unsurprised by Chris Gayle's controversial post-match interview with Ten Network reporter Mel McLaughlin on Monday and believes the Jamaican's comments could threaten his status as a Big Bash League star.

Gayle continues to come under fire for what have been perceived as inappropriate comments to his interviewer following his innings for Melbourne Renegades in their five-wicket win over Hobart Hurricanes. 

The 36-year-old, who asked the reporter out for a drink and said "don't blush, baby", has been fined by his club, while Australian great Ian Chappell has called for a worldwide ban for the opening batsman.

The Thunder take on the Renegades in Sydney on Monday, and Watson said he has come to expect such behaviour from Gayle.

"The people who know Chris Gayle well know those are the sort of things that he can do at times - and at an inappropriate time - and obviously it gets him into a fair bit of trouble," he said. "I know Chris Gayle fairly well so that sort of thing is expected.

"It's going to be interesting to see how people perceive him now after his indiscretion. There's no doubt people have always loved coming along and watching him play because of the entertainment that he can certainly provide, but there is a line outside the game of cricket as well.

"But people who know Chris Gayle well know that is the type of person he can be at times, so there are no real surprises from a lot of people."

Asked whether it would be a shame for Gayle's comments to result in him leaving the BBL, the former Australian Test cricketer was undecided: "Yes and no.

"In the end, people love the entertainment part of cricket, but there is also a respect and that is also part of playing the game - on and off the field - in the right spirit.

"So, in the end, there is obviously people making the decisions either way but it's not just what you bring on the field, it is what you bring off the field as well which is as important."

Chappell meanwhile has taken a tough stance, endorsing suggestions Gayle should be banned from playing in the Big Bash League and other competitions.

"I wouldn't have a problem if Cricket Australia said to the clubs, 'he's never to be contracted again in this country'," he said at a promotional event in Sydney.

"And I also wouldn't have a problem if Cricket Australia said to the ICC, 'what we're doing should be worldwide'."