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Cricket fans were left saddened on Thursday when Punjab Kings announced that Chris Gayle had decided to withdraw from the remainder of the IPL due to "bubble fatigue".
The West Indian star had only just arrived in Dubai from the Caribbean Premier League, where he was in another biosecurity bubble.
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Prior to that he was in a bubble with the West Indies team.
Gayle said he needed to mentally refresh himself ahead of next month's T20 World Cup.
"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," he said in a statement.
"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."
Gayle has played 37 T20 matches this year - the seventh most among players around the world.
The 42-year-old played in two matches for the Kings after the IPL resumed in the UAE.
"I've played against Chris and have coached him at Punjab Kings and all through the years I've known him, he has always been an absolute professional and we as a team respect his decision and desire to prepare himself for the T20 World Cup," Kings coach Anil Kumble said.
Fans were left gutted over the news.
Very sad to hear this news 😞😞😞😞
— Subhankar Patro (@PatroSubhankar) September 30, 2021
— क्रिकेट पर चर्चा (@Raushanbhumiha7) September 30, 2021
Its is sad to know but bubble for months kind of frustrating , looking forward to watch you again on field🏏
— chinmay koli (@chinmay_06) September 30, 2021
Regardless of how many titles any team has have won, VINTAGE AB-VK-GAYLE WOULD ALWAYS REMAIN AT EPITOME FIASCO OF MY MEMORIES, IT WOULD BE DEVASTATING IF HE HAS PLAYED HIS LAST IPL GAME ALREADY. THANKS UNIVERSE BOSS @henrygayle😭👌🙏 https://t.co/LQ3RRNsymA
— himanshu (@cricshaukeen) September 30, 2021
Chris Gayle has pulled out of IPL 2021 due to bio-bubble fatigue. This is soo heartbreaking.
IPL is over for me
— Mark Alwin🌹 (@_ranting_indian) September 30, 2021
Josh Hazlewood bowls Chennai into IPL playoffs
Meanwhile, Aussie star Josh Hazlewood has helped steer Chennai Super Kings into the IPL playoffs, taking three wickets and earning player of the match as the men in yellow beat hapless Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets.
After Hyderabad had been sent in to bat by MS Dhoni on Thursday, Hazlewood struck early to get the crucial wicket of England World Cup opener Jason Roy.
He proved economical as well as menacing as he took 3-24 off his four overs, which featured 13 dot balls that kept the pressure on.
Along with Dwayne Bravo, who took 2-17 off his four overs, including the other prized scalp of Sunrisers' skipper Kane Williamson, Hazlewood's effort did most to keep them down to a relatively flimsy 7-134.
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (1-14) also bowled well on a slow and low wicket and snared the wicket of top-scorer Wriddhiman Saha (44) when the batter top-edged a pull to Dhoni behind the stumps.
In reply, Ruturaj Gaikwad (45) and Faf du Plessis (41) featured in a half-century opening stand before Chennai reached 4-139 when Dhoni hoisted a six over mid-wicket.
Chennai have been in prolific form this season and recorded their fourth-successive victory since the league resumed after being suspended due to a Covid-19 outbreak in India in early May.
They missed out on the IPL playoffs last year, but they've rebounded this season with nine wins from 11 games and could even go into playoffs at the top of the table with three league games still in hand.
Hyderabad, out of playoff reckoning and having sidelined their talisman David Warner, are bottom of the table with only two wins from 11 games.
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