By Neto Baptiste
Legendary West Indies batsman and former captain, Sir Vivian Richards, said current players must accept criticism for what it is and let their performance on the field vindicate them.
Sir Viv was speaking on the heels of Chris Gayle’s attack on iconic fast bowler and fellow Antiguan, Sir Curtly Ambrose, who opined that based on recent performances, the hard-hitting Jamaican would not have been an automatic choice for him going into the T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman.
“It’s Curtly’s honest opinion and he’s entitled to that and he is just as much as an achiever as Chris Gayle at the highest level and you should have respect for that. So when you hear it’s coming from an individual who would have also been an achiever and being a legend in the department of the sport we would have represented, you must have respect for that too. He [Sir Curtly] is entitled to a voice as well,” he said.
In a recent interview on The Island Tea Morning Show in St Kitts on Tuesday, Gayle hit back, stating he has “no respect” for Sir Curtly and accused the former player of being “negative”.
Sir Viv, who scored a whopping 8,540 runs in 121 Tests and another 6,721 in One Day International (ODI) matches, urged the “Universe Boss” to let his performance speak on his behalf.
“If I was Chris, the best positive way I could look at it would be to set my mind on what I would like to accomplish because it is just not Curtly because there are so many folks who would have had their criticisms about Chris being in the team. Chris is still a pretty good player in my opinion and at this point, that particular criticism should be a motivator. When you go to the World Cup, make sure that all these stuff that are being said that I can basically do justice to my personal performance and that I think is the most important thing at present. Prove people wrong and when you do that, that is what proper professionalism is all about,” he said.
Gayle went on to state that he will continue to be “disrespectful” to former players whom he believes are critical of his performance and selection.
West Indies will play in Group One of the Super 12 where they will face Australia, England and South Africa. The regional team will open their campaign on October 23 against England.