Kevin Pietersen and Sunil Gavaskar lashed out at the Punjab Kings team management for their unfair treatment of Chris Gayle after the 42-year-old decided to leave the IPL bio-bubble midway.
Chris Gayle is arguably the greatest ever player to have played in the history of the IPL. However, the league might have seen the last of him. The star batsman has decided to leave the Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) bio-bubble for the ongoing edition to stay fresh for the T20 World Cup.
Kevin Pietersen Lashes Out For Unfair Treatment Of Chris Gayle As Punjab Kings Didn’t Play Him On His Birthday
With a mega-auction set to take place for IPL 2022, it remains to be seen if Chris Gayle decides to put his name in the hat again and whether any franchise puts in a bid for the 42-year-old. However, legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and former England captain Kevin Pietersen have blamed PBKS’s unfair treatment of the Caribbean southpaw for his decision to leave the ongoing tournament midway.
Speaking to Star Sports, Kevin Pietersen recounted that Chris Gayle was left out of the side for the first game of the UAE leg against Rajasthan Royals on his birthday.
Kevin Pietersen said: “He is not being treated right in his environment. He feels like they are using him and getting rid of him, using him and getting rid of him. They didn’t play him on his birthday, cast him aside. If he is not happy, he is 42, let him do what he wants.”
A day after Chris Gayle left them to be fresh for West Indies at the Twenty20 World Cup, Punjab joined Kolkata and Mumbai on 10 points on Friday as the three teams battle for the fourth and final qualifying spot.
Kevin Pietersen highlighted that PBKS did not give Chris Gayle a game on his 42nd birthday last month. As a result, Chris Gayle played only two out of PBKS’s three matches in the UAE leg of IPL 2021, where he managed just 1, and 14 in the two said games.
Sunil Gavaskar Chris Gayle Is A Game Changer
Meanwhile, Sunil Gavaskar felt that despite his age Chris Gayle is still a game-changer who can turn the game’s momentum in no time, and his absence from the team will be a big loss, echoing Kevin Pietersen’s statement.
“A game-changer like Chris Gayle, if he is not in the team, 100 percent it’s a big loss. I think he is in and out of the team. I don’t know what the calculations are. And sure, he is over 40 and he might not be able to do it at a consistent level that he used to do. But he is a game-changer. 3 overs of Gayle storm and the game is gone from the opposition,” said Gavaskar.
Chris Gayle’s decision to leave the competition on Thursday night left Punjab Kings’ fans perplexed.
In a statement issued by the franchise, Chris Gayle said: “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.”
Chris Gayle added, “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.”
Despite leaving the Punjab camp, he remains in UAE and joins the West Indies squad in a few days for the upcoming T20 World Cup after a short break. In the 2021 season, Chris Gayle featured in 10 games and scored just 193 runs at an average of 21.44 and strike rate of 125.44.
The ‘Universe Boss’ is an IPL legend who already has several records to his name. The Caribbean batsman has amassed 4965 runs in the IPL. He is the third-highest run-getter among overseas players in the IPL, only behind Sunrisers Hyderabad opener David Warner, who has scored 5449 runs and AB de Villiers (5083 runs).
Chris Gayle’s feat includes six tons, which is the most by a batsman in the league. He was won 59 Man of Match awards in his T20 career, which the most by a batsman in the format. The big-hitter holds the record for fastest IPL hundred, as he scored a ton in 30 balls against Pune Warriors India in 2013. His 175 not out against PWI is still the highest individual score in the league.