West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle has pulled out of the remaining 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and will not feature in the remaining three matches of the Punjab Kings (PBKS).
Gayle, who is well into his forties, has been struggling to score runs and doesn’t find a place in the playing eleven regularly. Last year, he also had to wait for the first eight games before featuring in the final XI.
The Punjab Kings on Thursday night revealed that the 42-year old has left the bio-bubble to recharge himself mentally for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.
Gayle landed in Dubai from another bio-bubble created for the 2021 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in Saint Kitts & Nevis, and staying in a protected environment has taken a toll on him like many other players.
“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,” said Gayle in a statement issued by PBKS.
“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.”
Punjab head coach Anil Kumble said the team respects Gayle’s decision and desire to prepare himself for the T20 World Cup.
Satish Menon, CEO, Punjab Kings, said: “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.”
Meanwhile, KL Rahul’s PBKS are all set for their reverse fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Friday in Dubai.