Punjab Kings on Thursday announced that batsman Chris Gayle will be leaving the team bio-bubble due to ‘bubble fatigue’. Gayle was a part of the bio-bubble in the Caribbean Premier League, where his team St Kitts and Nevis Patriots won their maiden title. He then travelled to Dubai for the second half of IPL 2021 in a bubble-to-bubble transfer.
Gayle had expressed his desire to mentally refresh himself in Dubai before representing the West Indies in the men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE in a few weeks’ time. The announcement of Gayle not taking part in the remainder of IPL 2021 comes on the eve of Punjab’s match against two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders in Dubai.
Gayle had scored 193 runs in ten matches at an average of 21.44 and strike rate of 125.32 for Punjab Kings in IPL 2021. “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. 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 in a release issued by the franchise.
“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,” said Anil Kumble, Head Coach and Director of Cricket Operations at Punjab Kings.
“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,” said Satish Menon, CEO of Punjab Kings.
It is expected that Gayle will be in Dubai before joining up with his West Indies teammates for the men’s T20 World Cup. Punjab are at sixth place in the points table with eight points from eleven matches.