Ahead of the T20 WC, a major war of words has broken out in Caribbean cricket with Chris Gayle's usefulness in the West Indies team being at the centre of public discourse. Gayle on Tuesday (October 12) hit back at his detractors, particularly Curtly Ambrose, who he said is seeking attention.

"I can tell you personally and you can let him know that Chris Gayle, the Universe Boss, have no respect for Curtly Ambrose whatsoever," Gayle (42) told a radio station, The Island Tea Morning Show, in St Kitts on Tuesday morning, hitting out against Ambrose, who had said that the veteran opener is not an automatic choice in the West Indies XI for the World Cup.

"I am speaking about Curtly Ambrose. I am singling out Curtly Ambrose, one of your own. I highly respected him when I came into the West Indies team. When I just joined the team, I looked up to this man. But I am now speaking from my heart. I don't know what, since he retired, what he had against Chris Gayle. Those negative things he has been saying within the press, I don't know if he is looking for attention but he is getting the attention. So I am just giving back the attention which he requires and which he needs," Gayle said.

When contacted, the West Indian fast bowling legend, said he needed time to respond. "I will respond but I want to absorb the things he said, get my thoughts together and I will message you when I am ready to respond," Ambrose told Cricbuzz.

Gayle went on. "I am finished with Curtly Ambrose. I have no respect, any time I see him I will tell him as well -- 'Stop being negative, support the team ahead of the World Cup.' This team has been selected and we need past players to support us. We need that, we don't need negative energy. In other teams, their past players support their teams, why can't our own support us in a big tournament like this?

"We have won the tournament twice and we will be going for the third title. The team has seen what is happening. It is going to reflect on the team. If the past players continue being negative, I am Chris Gayle Universe Boss is going to be disrespectful, disrespectful verbally in their face. In the media as well. I am not going to take anything from any senior player. Curtly Ambrose pull your socks up, alright? Support for West Indies, ok? Support West Indies, that is the thing."

Gayle's angry comments were a reaction to Ambrose's comment to a radio station in Barbados a few days ago. "No, he (Gayle) is not an automatic choice for me. The few home series (West Indies) just played, he had no scores of significance, and I have said before that if he did not do well in those home series, he should not go to the World Cup. However, he will be at the World Cup, but for me, he is definitely not an automatic choice for starting... If he gets it going on the day, he can be destructive, but he has not done much in the last 18 months or so to really make me think he will set the World Cup alight," Ambrose had told the Mason & Guest show, which was also attended by another former West Indies pacer Kenny Benjamin. He too had similar views on Gayle.

Gayle has not been in the best of form of late. He did not even feature in all the Punjab Kings' games in the UAE leg of the IPL and citing bubble fatigue, he exited the PBKS bubble before they finished their campaign.

West Indies are the two-time defending champions of the tournament that starts on October 17. West Indies, who have qualified for the second round (Super 12s directly), play their first game against England on October 23.

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