Former West Indies captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has strongly denied any involvement in the decision-making process of the Jamaica Tallawahs franchise to not retain Chris Gayle for the 2020 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

In a four-part video released on video sharing website YouTube on Tuesday, Gayle accused his former West Indies colleague of instigating his dismissal from the team because the Jamaican batsman did not advance Sarwan’s aspirations of becoming the head coach of the Tallawahs last season. Gayle labelled the Guyanese “a snake, deceitful, a poison and worst than the coronavirus” in the video. On Wednesday April 22, the CPL announced that Gayle would be moving to the St Lucia Zouks for this season’s tournament.

Sarwan, who was the Tallawahs assistant coach in 2019 stated in a release, “I categorically deny any involvement in the decision or the decision-making process, which led to Gayle’s non-selection to represent the Jamaica Tallawahs in the 2020 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) tournament.”

The management of the Jamaica franchise also issued a public statement in the aftermath of Gayle’s video stating that “the truth is that this decision was made collectively by the ownership and management team which did not include Mr. Ramnaresh Sarwan and based purely on business and cricketing reasoning.”

Sarwan also said that after he was selected as the head coach of the Tallawahs team for the 2019 season, he gave it up because Gayle wanted Jamaican Donovan Miller to lead the management team as coach.

“In my conversation with Gayle about the team, he informed me that Donovan Miller, a Jamaican and a very close friend of Chris, should be appointed head coach as he would better understand the culture of the Jamaican players,” Sarwan said in a statement.

He added, “I conveyed Gayle’s view to the CEO, informing the CEO that I would be happy to step aside for Miller’s appointment, given that Chris feels strongly about his appointment. My priority was what would be in the best interest of the team. Gayle is fully aware of the background, yet he accuses me of fighting to be head coach.”

Sarwan, who played for both the Guyana Amazon Warriors and the Trinbago Knight Riders in past CPL tournaments “absolutely rejected” Gayle’s allegation that he encouraged foreign players to disrespect him during last season’s tournament. He said, “I really do not understand how he came to such a conclusion and this simply is not true.” In the video, Gayle said he felt disrespected on so many occasions, he pulled everyone in the dressing room one day and let them know who was in charge.

Gayle released the four-part video almost a week after his move to the Zouks seeking to “clear the air” on his move from the Tallawahs to the Zouks. The hard-hitting left-hander rejoined the Jamaican franchise last season on a three-year contract hoping to end his career in his native Jamaican colours. However, he said he was asked to take a pay cut twice in the build-up to the retainer deadline before learning that the Tallawahs did not submit his name on the March 21 date. Gayle also blamed the Tallawahs’ Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Miller for misleading him.

Reporter: Ryan Bachoo