Star batsman Chris Gayle left the Punjab Kings team hotel and bio-bubble on Thursday owing to ‘bubble fatigue’ accumulated over months of playing franchise and International cricket, said the IPL franchise.
The 42-year-old won’t be available now for selection for the remainder of Punjab Kings’ games.
Chris Gayle has been part of bio-bubbles constantly since cricket resumed post the pandemic, starting from the 2020 Indian Premier League.
He also was part of the West Indies squads for their home games against Sri Lanka and Australia. That was immediately followed by the 2021 Caribbean Premier League, where Gayle was once again in a bio-bubble environment for the entirety of the competition.
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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,” said Gayle in a statement.
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“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 the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off. My wishes and hopes are with the squad always. All the very best for the upcoming games,” he added.
Punjab Kings said Gayle took this decision keeping in mind the T20 World Cup which begins on October 17.
The 42-year-old has opted to prioritize his mental health and take a bit of a breather from bubble environments so as to stay fresh and energized in what could be his last T20 World Cup as a player for West Indies.
“Punjab Kings as a franchise completely understand and back Chris Gayle’s decision to pull out of the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League,” the franchise said in a statement.
“The team respects the cricketer’s wishes and will continue to support Gayle in every way possible, going forward. The franchise would also like to wish the Universe Boss all the very best for the forthcoming T20 World Cup,” it added.
Press Release, source: ANI