Cricket powerhouse Chris Gayle has revived a highly criticised catchphrase that cost him $10,000 and his reputation before stepping out to bat in a Pakistan Super League (PSL) clash on Saturday night.
The former Melbourne Renegades batsman referenced an awkward moment with Network Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin in January during a live TV interview, when he came under fire for telling her ‘don’t blush, baby’ and asking her out on a date.
On Saturday night he poked fun at the stunt – which saw him fined $10,000 by Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Melbourne Renegades and Cricket Australia – by using the same line to former Aussie cricketer Tom Moody during a sideline interview, before bursting into laughter.
In the latest incident, Moody was wrapping up an interview with Gayle before the West Indian took to the field for a match between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi when Gayle said: “Okay, cheers Tom. Don’t blush, though.”
The coverage then crossed back to a sports desk host who was laughing.
Gayle went on to go out for a golden duck.
During the January incident, Gayle had just been dismissed for a dazzling 41 off 15 balls in the Renegades’ comfortable win over Hobart, and was being interviewed by McLaughlin on the sidelines at Bellerive Oval.
But after being complimented on his aggressive batting, Gayle turned his sights to McLaughlin.
“I wanted to come and have an interview with you as well, that’s why I’m here – just to see your eyes for the first time,” he told McLaughlin, who looked embarrassed by the ordeal.
“Hopefully we can win this game and we can have a drink after, don’t blush baby,” he said, before dissolving into laughter.
Big Bash commentators could be heard tittering off-camera as well.
McLaughlin told the 36-year-old she wasn’t blushing, then proceeded to complete the interview, quizzing Gayle about injuries.
The exchange of words caused waves across the nation as Gayle was slammed for his ‘inappropriate’ and ‘sexist’ comments.
But Gayle brushed off the incident, saying it had been ‘blown out of proportion’.
“There wasn’t anything meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel,” Gayle said at the time.
“If she felt that way, I’m really sorry for that.
“It was a simple joke. The game was going on. Entertainment, things get of proportion but these things happen.”
Days later, McLaughlin broke her silence on Network 10’s The Project saying she felt “uncomfortable” about the attention she had received.
“Look, it was certainly unexpected. To be honest, it’s obviously a bit disappointing,” she said.
“There’s a certain stigma that people like to talk about with women in sport. I haven’t felt that. I love my job and I’d just rather be talking about that. Yes, it’s meant something to a lot of female journos, men, as well as women in general.”
McLaughlin accepted Gayle’s apology.
Watch Saturday night’s interview between Gayle and Moody below:
Here is the January interview with McLaughlin and Gayle:
– with AAP