Seasoned Caribbean batsman Chris Gayle has left the Punjab Kings team hotel and bio-bubble today, owing to ‘bubble fatigue’ accumulated over the months playing franchise and International cricket. The 42-year-old won’t be available now for selection for the remainder of Punjab Kings’ games.
Chris Gayle has been part of bio-bubbles constantly since cricket resumed post the pandemic, starting from the 2020 Indian Premier League. He also was part of the West Indies squads for their home games against Sri Lanka and Australia. That was immediately followed by the 2021 Caribbean Premier League, where Gayle was once again in a bio-bubble environment for the entirety of the competition.
Since cricket resumed post the pandemic, cricket boards around the world have resorted to playing with bio-bubbles, which limits the players' contacts to their team hotel and the ground. Players are required to stay within the confines of their team hotel, and cannot mingle with anyone outside that even on non match days. Player movement is limited to within their team hotel and the venues where the games are held.
These stringent rules have often been difficult for our professional cricketers, causing bubble fatigue. Prior to Gayle, players like Ben Stokes, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone and Andrew Tye have all opted out of their respective franchise or International commitments due to bubble fatigue, so as to focus on their mental health.
Chris Gayle too has taken this decision keeping in mind the T20 World Cup which begins on 17th October. 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.