The T20 legend, Chris Gayle has decided to leave the IPL’s bio-secure environment due to “bubble fatigue”, and won’t be available for the rest of the tournament, Punjab Kings announced on Thursday. Gayle said he is looking to mentally refresh himself ahead of the T20 World Cup next month.
“Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble followed by the IPL bubble, and I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself,” Gayle said in a statement. “I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai. My thanks to the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the games coming up.” said Gayle
I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup : Chris Gayle
The 42-year-old has been in the bio bubble for the last 5 months. And the strict bubble due to COVID-19 has got to him it seems as he was in the bubble during the international schedule. Then during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) as well and flew from West Indies to the UAE in a bubble to bubble transfer for IPL.
However, he hasn’t looked in great touch in IPL 2021. Gayle scored 14 and 1 in the two matches he played for the Kings since the tournament resumed. Overall Chris Gayle scored an aggregate of 193 runs in 10 innings this season at a strike rate of 125.32, averaging 21.44. And most probably, this is the last time we may have seen Chris Gayle in IPL. With the mega auction coming in next year and Gayle being already 42-year-old, hardly any team will go for him. Undoubtedly, he’s one of the greatest batsmen to have ever played in IPL, and his numbers speak for themselves.
Only six players have played more T20 matches this year than Chris Gayle
“I’ve played against Chris and have coached him at Punjab Kings and all through the years I’ve known him, he has always been an absolute professional and we as a team respect his decision and desire to prepare himself for the T20 World Cup,” Anil Kumble, head coach of Kings, said.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, player withdrawals due to bubble fatigue have been very common. Many players have opted out, and taken breaks from international series and various leagues across the world. Ben Stokes took a break for 6 months to focus on his mental health, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, and David Warner pulled out of The Hundred tournament earlier this year.
CEO Satish Menon added, “Chris is a legend who has changed the game of T20 cricket, and we stand by his decision. He is a part of the Punjab Kings family, and his presence will be missed. We extend all support to him and wish him success.”