West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has found himself embroiled in a sexism row after asking out Australian journalist Mel McLaughlin during a pitch-side interview for a Big Bash League match on 4 January. Gayle says he was joking when he made the remarks during the live TV broadcast, and has since apologised and been fined by Melbourne Renegades.
Having just finished his innings for the Renegades in a nationally televised Twenty20 match in Hobart, Australia, he was approached for an interview by Channel 10 reporter McLaughlin. After suggesting that he had played well in order to get an interview with McLaughlin, the big-hitting batsman directed personal remarks towards her.
"To see your eyes for the first time is nice," the 36-year-old said. "Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don't blush baby."
The comments were immediately condemned by the Big Bash League and Channel 10, who said McLaughlin had been angered and upset by the encounter. Gayle, speaking to reporters later in the day, said a "simple joke" had been "blown out of proportion". The Jamaican cricket star has since apologised, and was fined A$10,000 [£4,888] by Melbourne Renegades.