Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Thursday informed that their destructive batter Chris Gayle has left the IPL 2021 bubble and hence will be unavailable for the remaining tournament.
He cited bubble fatigue as the reason for his decision and expressed that he wanted to mentally “recharge and refresh himself” ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. The T20 World Cup is set to kick-start from October 17.
In a statement released, Punjab Kings said, “Chris Gayle will be leaving the IPL bio-bubble due to bubble fatigue. Having been a part of the CPL bubble and then the IPL bubble he expressed a desire to mentally refresh himself in Dubai before representing the West Indies in the T20 World Cup.”
The 42-year-old has been constantly playing since the last season of IPL. He has been part of bio-bubbles all this while due to his national duties and league commitments. He was part of the West Indies squads for their home games against Sri Lanka and Australia earlier this year.
It was then followed by the 2021 Caribbean Premier League, which recently concluded on September 15. He represented the title-winning team St Kitts & Nevis Patriots. He amassed 193 runs from 10 games this season with a season-best of 46.
“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,” Gayle was quoted as saying in a Punjab Kings release.
“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.
Gayle has managed to aggregate 15 runs from the two games he has featured in so far in the second leg of the IPL 2021 in the UAE.
It is not the first instance a player has opted out of the tournament due to bubble fatigue. Earlier, players with the likes of Ben Stokes, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone, and Andrew Tye have all pulled out of the league or their national commitments prioritizing their mental health as the stringent quarantine rules take a toll on them.
PBKS Director of Cricket Operations, Anil Kumble, said he respected Gayle’s decision to take a break.
“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, Director of Cricket Operations, said.
Gayle will remain in Dubai before joining up with his West Indies teammates as they prepare their title defence at the T20 World Cup.
With 8 points from 11 games, Punjab Kings are currently sitting at the sixth position in the IPL 2021 Points Table. They still have a chance of making it into the playoffs.
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