West Indies batsman Chris Gayle says he “does not get respect” in global Twenty20 franchise leagues.
Gayle was speaking in a heated news conference after his exit from South Africa’s Mzansi Super League (MSL).
The 40-year-old had been playing for champions Jozi Stars but had scored just 101 runs in six innings and his side had not won a match.
“As soon as I don’t perform for two or three games, then Chris Gayle is the burden for the team,” he said.
“I am not talking for this team only. This is something I have analysed over the years playing franchise cricket. Chris Gayle is always a burden if I don’t score runs.
“It seems like that one particular individual is the burden for the team. And then you will hear bickering.
“I am not going to get respect. People don’t remember what you have done for them.”
Gayle, one of the tournament’s marquee players, has scored 13,152 in T20 cricket and has played for more than 20 teams in domestic leagues around the world.
He scored 47 runs in his first five matches in this year’s MSL, then hit 54 off 28 balls in his final match for the Stars before his scheduled departure.
The Stars have lost all six of their games, are bottom of the league table and cannot qualify for the knockout stage despite having four matches remaining.
The team’s chief executive Jono Leaf-Wright said Gayle was not a “burden” on the side and called the left-hander “sensitive”.
“In Chris’ head, he feels that when he doesn’t perform – because there are such expectations from the franchise, the fans – that he’s the reason the team is not performing,” Leaf-Wright said.
“I know Chris well. He seems like he’s the big character, lots of bravado, the swag and all that stuff – but he’s actually a sensitive guy, and unfortunately, when he doesn’t perform he really takes it to heart.
“He’s certainly no burden on our side.”
Gayle was expected to retire from one-day international cricket in August but reversed his decision and is still available to play T20s for West Indies.