CPL 2020: Chris Gayle opts out due to personal reasons
West Indian opener Chris Gayle has pulled out of the Caribbean Premier League 2020, citing personal reasons. His decision comes a day before the players' draft for the impending season is scheduled to take place. Meanwhile, the tournament is set to take place in Trinidad & Tobago from August 18 to September 10, subject to approval from the local government. Here is more.
According to an ESPNcricinfo report, Gayle communicated his decision to St Lucia Zouks. Reportedly, Gayle has not been able to meet his family, owing to the coronavirus lockdown. His family is staying in St Kitts, while he has been in Jamaica for long. The southpaw said he needed a break and wanted to spend more time with them.
With Jamaica Tallahwahs releasing Gayle, the southpaw was picked up by St Lucia Zouks ahead of this season. He played the first four editions with Tallahwahs before moving to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots. Gayle was released by Patriots following the 2018 season. Notably, he was re-signed by Tallawahs ahead of last season for a three-year contract, which came to a premature end.
Gayle's decision may have disrupted Zouks' plans for the players' draft, which will be conducted virtually on June 24. The Zouks signed up Gayle as one of the marquee players outside the draft in the $130,000-160,000 price bracket. In his absence this year, the franchise is likely to get the first pick at the draft now.
Earlier this month, CPL proposed a pay-cut in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. In a recent update, CPL operations manager Michael Hall said top-earning players would be asked to take a pay cut of up to 30 per cent, as compared to the 2019 contract. According to the revised amount, Gayle would have received nearly $112,000 from the Zouks.
In May, Gayle escaped a sanctioned for his severe remarks on former batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan. In a three-part video released on YouTube, Gayle had blamed the latter for his ouster from the CPL franchise Jamaica Tallawahs. He labelled Sarwan "worse than the coronavirus", in the video. Later on, Gayle clarified that he did not intend to damage the CPL.
In the last edition of CPL, Gayle mustered only 243 runs from 10 matches as the Tallawahs failed to make the playoffs. Meanwhile, he played his last international in the India ODI series, last year. However, Gayle still remains the highest run-scorer in T20s with 13,296 runs at 38.20. It will be interesting to see if he turns up in the upcoming T20 WC.