Punjab batsman Chris Gayle will play no further part in the 2021 Indian T20 League as he has decided to pull out of the tournament due to bubble fatigue. The 42-year-old says he wishes to ‘mentally recharge’ himself for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
"Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI (Cricket West Indies) bubble, CPL (Caribbean Premier League) bubble followed by the Indian T20 League 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 Punjab for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the games coming up."
Gayle played two matches for Punjab in the second half of the Indian T20 League after arriving in Dubai from another bio-bubble created for the Caribbean Premier League.
In all, Chris Gayle played 10 matches for Punjab this season, scoring 193 runs at an average of 21.44. His highest score was 46.
Punjab has played 11 matches in the league so far, winning four and losing seven. They are placed sixth in the table.
"I've played against Chris and have coached him at Punjab 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 Punjab, said.
Despite being 42, Gayle has been one of the most active T20 players this year given that only six players have played more T20 matches than him. During this time, he has played for as many as four different teams, which includes West Indies, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots (CPL), Quetta Gladiators (PSL) and Punjab (Indian T20 League).
Chris Gayle isn’t the only top cricketer who has opted to take a break from bio-bubble life. Earlier this year, the likes of Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and David Warner all pulled out of the 100-ball League. The first half of the Indian T20 League also saw players like Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Dawid Malan and Jos Buttler pulling out of the tournament.
Featured photo: AFP / Sajjad Hussain