Legendary T20 batsman Chris Gayle has announced he will not be a part of the 2020 CPL just a day before the players’ draft on June 24. The tournament this year is set for Trinidad & Tobago from August 18 until September 10 with the blessing of the T&T government.
According to a press release, Gayle relayed his decision on Monday to the St Lucia Zouks franchise, the team he was slated to suit up for in this year’s CPL. The ‘Universe Boss’ revealed he would not be available to play due to ‘personal reasons’.
According to reports, chief among his reasons, Gayle revealed that due to the lockdown, he has been unable to meet his family and young child who are in St Kitts while he has been in Jamaica. Gayle said he needed a break and wanted to spend time with his young family.
The Zouks would have been the third team Gayle would represent in the CPL after two stints with Tallawahs (2013-16 and 2019) and a two-year stay with St Kitts and Nevis (2017-18).
The left-handed opener’s sudden withdrawal will throw the Zouks’ plans for the players’ draft into disarray. The draft will be conducted virtually for the first time due to the travel restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gayle was one of the marquee players outside the draft in the US $130,000 – 160,000 price bracket. With his withdrawal, the Zouks is likely to get the first pick in the draft.