Punjab Kings (PBKS) batter Chris Gayle has left the 14th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL 2021), citing bio-bubble fatigue on Thursday. Punjab Kings will play its next match against Mumbai Indians on Friday at Dubai International Stadium. The KL Rahul-led side is still in race to qualify for the playoffs with 8 points in 10 matches played so far.
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“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,” Chris Gayle said.
“I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai,” he said.
“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.
Gayle has scored 193 runs in 10 matches during IPL 2021 with an below-par strike rate of 125.32 and an average of 21.44. His best score in IPL 2021 was 46 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Punjab Kings’ head coach Anil Kumble also respected Gayle’s decision an called him ‘absolute proffession’.
Anil Kumble, Head Coach and Director of Cricket Operations, Punjab Kings, said, “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.”
The Mohali-based franchise PBKS has also confirmed the development and said that Chris Gayle will be leaving the IPL 2021 bio-bubble.
“Having been a part of the Caribbean Premier League (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,” Punjab Kings said in the media statement.
It is expected that Chris will be in Dubai before joining up with his West Indies teammates for the T20 World Cup.
Satish Menon, CEO, Punjab Kings, said, “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.”