Chris Gayle leaves IPL bubble to stay 'mentally recharged' for T20 World Cup

Chris Gayle will leave the IPL bio-bubble due to bubble weariness, according to the Punjab Kings. Gayle, who had just returned from the Caribbean Premier League bubble, said he needed to psychologically recharge before the T20 World Cup next month.

“I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble, and IPL bubble over the last three months, and I wish to psychologically recharge and rejuvenate myself,” Gayle said in a statement. “I’d like to take a vacation in Dubai to refocus on aiding 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 team. All the best for the upcoming games.”

Punjab Kings must now decide who will replace Chris Gayle in the starting XI. There is no word yet on whether they would name a replacement, considering they only have three league games left and their playoff qualification is still up in the air. Their batting options are now severely limited, as they may be forced to play either Fabian Allen or Chris Jordan in the starting lineup, with the rest of the batters going up the order.

If Mayank Agarwal is fit, another option is to keep Mandeep Singh and play with three foreign players. Moving up the order, on the other hand, may assist Aiden Markram, who is currently playing well at four but will have more opportunities at three because he is a natural opener.

Gayle isn’t the first big-name cricketer to take a break from the limelight in recent months. Ben Stokes was left out of England’s Test squad, missing the country’s series against India, while Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, and David Warner all dropped out of the Hundred earlier this year. The IPL has already seen a lot of withdrawals for the same reason.