Chris Gayle has declared that he would leave the IPL bio-bubble owing to bubble fatigue. Gayle claimed he was aiming to psychologically rejuvenate himself ahead of the T20 World Cup next month, having recently returned from the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) bubble.
“I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble, and IPL bubble over the last three months, and I desire to psychologically recharge and renew myself,” Gayle said in a statement. “I’d want to take a vacation in Dubai before refocusing on assisting the West Indies in the T20 World Cup. Thank you to the Punjab Kings for allowing me to take this time off. My thoughts and prayers are always with the squad. Best wishes for the next games.”
Only six players have played more T20 matches this year than Gayle, who has done so for four different teams: the West Indies, the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots, the Quetta Gladiators, and the Kings. Since the IPL restarted in the UAE, the 42-year-old has appeared in two of Kings’ three matches. Gayle is scheduled to remain in Dubai before joining the West Indies squad for the World Cup, which begins on October 17.
“I’ve played against Chris and coached him at Punjab Kings, and he has always been an outstanding professional during the years I’ve known him, and we as a squad appreciate his decision and desire to prepare himself for the T20 World Cup,” Anil Kumble, Kings’ head coach, stated.
Gayle isn’t the only high-profile player to step away from the spotlight in recent months. Ben Stokes withdrew from the England Test squad, missing the series against India, and Kieran Pollard, Andre Russell, and David Warner also withdrew from the Hundred earlier this year. The IPL has already seen a handful of withdrawals for the same reason.
Player withdrawals due to bubble fatigue have been a theme in numerous tournaments and series across the world since the Covid-19 epidemic began. Several of the withdrawals were motivated less by a concern of acquiring Covid-19 and more by the rigours of hopping from one restrictive bubble to the next, with restricted movement and a life confined to hotels.