Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) explosive batsman Chris Gayle has left the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 bio-bubble after expressing a desire to mentally refresh himself before the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Issuing a statement, 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.”
Gayle said he needed to “mentally recharge” himself ahead of the showpiece event.
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile, Punjab’s team’s Director of Cricket Operations, Anil Kumble has said that he respected Gayle’s decision to take a break before the showpiece event.
“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,” Kumble said.
Significantly, 42-year-old Gayle has managed just 15 runs from the two games he played in the UAE leg of ongoing IPL season.
Gayle had joined the IPL 2021 bubble right after winning the recently held Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021 with the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, where he had aggregated 193 runs from 10 games this season.
His personal best was 46 runs in CPL 2021.
Although Punjab Kings currently has just eight points in their kitty from 11 games, the KL Rahul-led side mathematically carry a chance of making to the IPL Playoffs.
Despite leaving the bubble, Gayle will remain in Dubai and will later join his West Indies teammates as they kick-off their prepration for their title defence at the T20 World Cup.
Punjab will next face two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on Friday. The Eoin Morgan-led KKR currently sits at the fourth place in the eight-team standings with 10 points from 11 games.
While three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have already entered the Playoffs after nine wins from 11 games and 18 points in their kitty. The MS Dhoni-led Yellow Brigade are then followed by Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the second and third place respectively.