Chris Gayle leaves IPL 2021 due to bubble fatigue, wants to focus on T20 WC Sports

Chris Gayle leaves IPL 2021 due to bubble fatigue, wants to focus on T20 WC

Author's avatar Avishkar Govardhane

Time icon October 1, 2021   | Last Updated: May 17, 2024 at 5:39 AM

Punjab Kings have announced that the veteran T20 star Chris Gayle will be leaving the IPL bio-bubble due to bubble fatigue. Having just arrived from the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) bubble, Gayle said he was looking to mentally refresh himself so that he remains energetic for the T20 World Cup next month.

“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,” Gayle said in a statement. “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.”

Only six other players have played more T20 matches this year than Gayle’s 37, which have come for four teams – West Indies, St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, Quetta Gladiators, and Kings. The swashbuckling left-hander played in two of Kings’ three matches since the IPL resumed in the UAE. The Kings statement said Gayle is expected to be in Dubai before joining the West Indies squad for the World Cup that begins on October 17.

“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,” Anil Kumble, head coach of Kings, said.

Chris Gayle was easily the most feared batsman in 2011 and 2012 editions of IPL, his name is synonymous with “Huge Sixes”.

Bio-Bubble Fatigue: A common reason of Withdrawal

Gayle isn’t the only cricketer over the last few months to have taken a break from bubble life. Ben Stokes pulled out of the England Test squad, missing their series against India, and Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell and David Warner all left the Hundred tournament earlier this year. The IPL, too, has had a number of withdrawals for the same reason already.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, player withdrawals due to bubble fatigue have become a common event in many tournaments and series across the world. Several of the withdrawals have had less to do with the fear of contracting Covid-19 and more with the demands of jumping from one stringent bubble to the other, with restricted movement and a life confined to hotels.