Star player Chris Gayle has decided to leave the IPL's bio-secure environment due to "bubble fatigue", his team Punjab Kings said on Thursday. Gayle had played two games for the team since IPL's resumption and now wants to refresh before the T20 World Cup beginning next month.
The West Indian flew into Dubai from another bio-bubble created for the CPL and staying in a protected environment has taken a toll on him like many other international players in COVID times.
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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 issued by Punjab Kings.
"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."
Head coach Anil Kumble said the team respects his decision. "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,” said Kumble.
CEO Satish Menon added, “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."
Gayle is likely to remain in Dubai before joining the West Indies squad for the T20 World Cup.