Punjab Kings star player Chris Gayle has decided to pull out of the ongoing season of Indian Premier League due to bio-bubble fatigue. The 42-year-old, who was also a part of CPL 2021, has looked slightly out of shots in recent matches, which would have probably prompted him to take the step in his bid to be fit for the upcoming 2021 T20 World Cup.
Gayle has now become the 4th PBKS player to withdraw from the second phase of tournament after the trio of Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson and Dawid Malan (who had pulled out before the start of UAE leg). With players like Fabian Allen, Moises Henriques and Chris Jordan available for the franchise, they are expected to pave their way into the playing XI as Gayle's replacement.
I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself: Chris Gayle
Gayle, who has scored 193 runs in 10 matches for PBKS in IPL 2021, revealed the reason behind his decision as he said, "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. 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 concluded in the statement released by franchise.
Team respects the cricketer’s wishes: Punjab Kings on Gayle's decision
To provide more clarity on the situation, Punjab Kings released an official statement on their website where they explained that Chris Gayle has taken this decision keeping in mind the T20 World Cup, which begins on 17th October. The statement read, "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 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," the statement concluded.