The 2020 season of the CPL will be the last for Andre Russell with the Jamaica Tallawahs.
On the eve of his 32nd birthday, Russell, perhaps the most dangerous player in T20 cricket globally, in a rambling speech on Instagram Live on Tuesday night, accused the team’s ownership of poor communication and continued disrespect that helped create the impression that he was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Chris Gayle.
“I have another year’s contract with the Tallawahs and I am going to play and try and win because that is all I play for, but this will be my last because I have been getting mixed up with all these (expletive) that is happening,” he said, “and I can’t be playing cricket and I am not comfortable.
“And I think another franchise that has been coming last and fifth and fourth in CPL will appreciate me more. I am not getting it here.”
Russell revealed that he only heard about Chris Gayle’s departure from the team when the Universe Boss sent him a copy of a report in the Jamaica Gleaner that suggested that Gayle was not going to be retained by the two-time CPL champions and that there were going to changes to the coaching staff.
Rovman Powell was to be made captain.
That information, when combined with recent statements from Marlon Samuels suggesting that Russell must have known about Gayle’s departure and Chris Gayle’s subsequent comments, gives the impression that he knew what was going on behind the scenes at the Tallawahs when nothing could be further from the truth.
He said in 2019, he was not involved in anything with regards to the Tallawahs whom he said treated him like a player who was making his debut and whose opinion is not valued.
This is despite his decision to play for much less money because he wanted to play before his home fans. “I have accepted a pay cut just to play in front of my home crowd, my family and my friends,” he said.
This year, nothing has changed, Russell said.
“They communicated with my agent. My agent agreed. I agreed with my agent, ‘okay, let we sign’. The only time the CEO (Jeff Miller) or the only time the Jamaica Tallawahs contacted me was to ask me how soon will I sign,” he revealed. “The deadline is that time and can you sign please.”
Russell said when he asked who the team planned on retaining he did not get answers. “Who you guys planning on buying, I don’t get no answers on that. So I just leave it,” he said.
He said he read the newspaper report before he called Gayle and it made him nervous when it said that Floyd Reifer was going to be the head coach.
Reifer had messaged him, he said, indicating that he might be the head coach for the Tallawahs and mentioned plans they have for the upcoming season. However, Reifer suddenly ceased all communication and Miller still was not communicating with him.
During that time, Russell said, rumours began to circulate that Gayle was leaving for the Zouks. (www.sportsmax.tv)