Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen feels that explosive West Indies batter Chris Gayle was “not being treated right in his environment” due to which he left his franchise Punjab Kings (PBKS) bubble even before the end of the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Earlier, Gayle had left the Punjab bio-bubble citing bubble fatigue and won’t be available for selection for the remainder of Punjab Kings’ games.
“He (Gayle) is not being treated right in his environment. He feels like they are using him and getting rid of him, using him and getting rid of him. Didn’t play him on his birthday, cast him aside. If he is not happy, he is 42, let him do what he wants,” Pietersen told Star Sports.
In the current season, Gayle played 10 matches for PBKS, amassing 193 runs.
Meanwhile, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar also said that the Punjab Kings, who are currently fifth on the table with 10 points from 12 games, will miss Gayle in the remainder of the matches.
“A game-changer like Chris Gayle, if he is not in the team, 100 per cent it’s a big loss. I think he is in and out of the team. I don’t know what the calculations are. Clearly only four overseas players can play but sometimes when you see the player who has picked in his place, knowing what he has delivered in the past. And sure, he is over 40 and he might not be able to do it at a consistent level that he used to do. But he is a game-changer. Three overs of Gayle storm and the game is gone from the opposition,” added Gavaskar.
Issuing a statement on Friday, Punjab Kings had 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 meanwhile, had 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 had added.
Punjab’s team’s Director of Cricket Operations, Anil Kumble 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.