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Gayle says sorry for asking out Australian reporter

41West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle says he was “joking” when he asked a reporter out on live television.

Journalist Mel McLaughlin was reportedly left angry and upset after Gayle abruptly asked her out during an interview in Hobart on Monday night.

“To see your eyes for the first time is nice. Hopefully we can have a drink afterwards. Don’t blush baby,” he said.

Gayle said the angry public reaction to the comments was “out of proportion”, when speaking to press on Tuesday.

“There wasn’t anything meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel. If she felt that way, I’m really sorry for that,” he said.

“It was a simple joke. The game was going on. Entertainment, things get out of proportion but these things happen.

“It wasn’t any harm done and like I said, I will leave it at that. I’m sorry for that. We have to move on, simple.”

When told about McLaughlin’s feelings regarding the exchange, Gayle became agitated and abruptly walked away from the interview.

‘Not a nightclub’

Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland said Gayle’s comments could be equated with workplace harassment.

“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.”

Network Ten Head of Sport David Barham said Gayle would no longer wear an on-field microphone or helmet-cam during live broadcasts.

Fox Sports reporter Neroli Meadows told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that Gayle had said similar things to her and several other female reporters.

“He does this constantly… He has creepy behaviour and the way he did it to Mel was just that, and Mel knew it was going to happen,” she said.