In what comes as a huge blow for The Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Universe boss Chris Gayle has decided to give CPL 2020 a miss citing personal reasons. The decision came a day before the players’ draft of the league, which is scheduled to take place today, June 24 virtually given the outbreak of COVID-19. Reports suggest that Gayle has backed out due to some personal reasons.
Subject to clearance from the government amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, CPL was slated to take place between August 18 and September 10, where Gayle was supposed to be St. Lucia Zouks’ marquee player in the tournament. The T20 veteran had signed for the side in April and was going to be their key player, before the announcement of his decision came.
The franchise also confirmed Gayle’s decision and if reports are to be believed, Gayle wants to spend more time with this family. The star player has been in Jamaica all throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, while his family is away in St Kitts. He hasn’t been able to meet them for long and desire to do the same once the situation becomes better in that part of the world.
Gayle’s fallout with Jamaica Tallawahs meant he was available to sign for other teams and St. Lucia Zouks didn’t have a second thought before going ahead securing the signature of the explosive southpaw. His withdrawal however, has now put Zouks in a spot of bother with their plans for the season and the draft derailed.
Though there has been recent struggle for Gayle with the age getting the better of his reflexes and hand-eye coordination, but the West Indian remains the league’s top scorer with 2344 runs in the tournament. Gayle though had a rather forgettable outing last year but played a couple of match-winning knocks, including a 100 in his 10 innings, where he amassed 243 runs.
While some reports suggest Gayle wanted time with family, others hint at a possible pay-cut behind Gayle’s decision. The league, however, has respected his decision, stating: “We understand that Chris has decided to not take part in CPL personal reasons. We wish Chris all the best for the rest of 2020 and hope to see him back at CPL in 2021.”