Hobart: Ace West Indies batsman Chris Gayle was on Tuesday fined 10,000 Australian dollars ($7,190) for asking a female TV presenter out on live television during a Big Bash League (BBL) match.
The amount will be donated to the McGrath Foundation, a breast cancer charity in recognition of Jane McGrath Day at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), according to Cricket Australia (CA) website.
The 36-year-old was speaking to reporter Mel McLaughlin during a Big Bash game here on Monday.
“To see your eyes for the first time is nice. Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don’t blush baby,” he said.
In the game, Gayle’s side the Melbourne Renegades beat the Hobart Hurricanes by five wickets.
Gayle later apologised for the incident but said the reactions were “out of proportion”.
“There wasn’t anything meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel. If she felt that way, I’m really sorry for that,” Gayle told reporters.
“It was a simple joke. The game was going on. Entertainment, things get out of proportion but these things happen.”
The fine leaves Gayle free to play in the Renegades next fixture, the highly anticipated Melbourne derby rematch with city rivals the Melbourne Stars.
Renegades CEO Stuart Coventry said in a statement: “Chris’s comments were completely inappropriate and disrespectful. There is simply no place for these type of comments at the Melbourne Renegades.
“The club would like to extend a formal apology to Mel McLaughlin.
“Mel is an outstanding sports presenter. We think of her very highly and the club and players will ensure we work with her in a professional and respectful manner in future.
“We’ve had several discussions with Chris over the past day and he has acknowledged that his comments were out of line.
“We would also like to formally apologise to our members, supporters and the wider public for offence caused. The club is based on values of respect towards every member of the community.”
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland also spoke against Gayle’s behaviour.
“It’s not a nightclub, and I think one of the things that perhaps hasn’t dawned on everyone is it’s actually a workplace,” he said.
“Anyone that sees the humour in that is misunderstanding and somewhat delusional about the situation.”