It shows that controversy can lead to increased popularity at least defined in terms of search interest.
Bolt is normally seven times more searched for than Gayle amongst the world’s internet users. However, over the last several days, Gayle’s “don’t blush baby” saga rocketed him beyond the sprinting icon.
On January 4th, that level of interest climbed such that, for every 100 searches for Gayle, there was a corresponding two for Bolt. On January 7th, that level waned to two searches for Bolt for every seven searches for Gayle. In Jamaica it’s a similar statistical divide.
Probably the best indication of his rise are the increased searches in the USA (a country that doesn’t fancy cricket), with Gayle beating Bolt at 11 to 10 margin.
Gayle remains a popular sporting star with 2.8 million twitter followers to Bolt’s 3.8 million followers.
West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle fined after telling television reporter Mel McLaughlin
Earlier this weeek, Gayle offered a conditional apology to the TV reporter for asking her out on air during a Big Bash League T20 match in Australia. He was fined $10,000 Australian dollars by his club for his comments. The performance of Gayle, who had smashed 41 off 15 balls in the match, was overshadowed by the controversy. Gayle later indicated that his comments were meant in jest to reporter Mel McLaughlin during a live mid match commentary.
He reportedly faces further sanctions from Cricket Australia including being banned from playing in the Big Bash League.