Not many players look as comfortable embracing the spotlight as Chris Gayle. Even though his cricketing career is effectively over, Gayle manages to grab eyeballs with his quirky outfits, reggae attitude, and groovy moves. Currently touring in the UK, Gayle’s name was on the guest list for Boris Johnson’s glitzy summer party.
The party was attended by several high-profile political donors, including Vijay Mallya, a fugitive from India who now resides in London. Mallya tweeted a picture in which he was posing with Chris Gayle, and captioned it: “Great to catch up with my good friend Christopher Henry Gayle @henrygayle, the Universe Boss. Super friendship since I recruited him for RCB. Best acquisition of a player ever.”
It was Mallya who brought Chris Gayle to the Royal Challengers Bangalore after the Caribbean went unsold in the IPL 2011 auction. Before 2011, Gayle capitalised on this opportunity, setting the league on fire with his aggressive but consistent batting. In the next three seasons, Gayle smashed over 2000 runs, and finished as Orange Cap winner in 2011 and 2012.
Cricket fans, however, are furious with Chris Gayle for posing with the “fraudster”. Mallya owes over 9,000 crore to 19 Indian banks, and he is currently fighting an extradition case in the UK. He also served as a Member of Parliament on two occasions, and was the chairperson of United Spirits before it was acquired by Diageo.
One fan wrote: “I wasn’t a fan of Chris Gayle before, but seeing him pose with a known fraudster and criminal hits different And yet people will somehow defend this picture saying cricket is above politics or crime or something stupid Words fail me on this one. Absolutely outrageous”.
Another fan tweeted: “What the fu** @TheVijayMallya the criminal and looter should return to India and pay for your criminality you fat ugly coward. @ChrisGayle3 what you doing with dis criminal man!?”
Featured Image: Vijay Mallya/Twitter