West Indies star Chris Gayle has dominated the Indian Premier League for many years. Gayle, who turns 43 this year, is widely regarded as one of the most explosive batters in modern-day cricket. The West Indian has represented three franchises in the tournament – Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kings XI Punjab/Punjab Kings; and arguably his best phase in the league came at the RCB, where Gayle, alongside Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers formed a terrific trio in the batting order for the side.
However, Gayle opted to pull out of the mega auction ahead of this year’s tournament, and in an interview with England’s Mirror, the West Indian cited a lack of “respect” as the reason behind opting out of the 2022 edition of the IPL.
“For the last couple of years, the way the IPL went about, I felt like I wasn’t treated properly,” Gayle said, as quoted by mirror.co.uk.
“So I thought ‘okay, you (Gayle) didn’t get the respect you deserved after you did so much for the sport and IPL.’ So I said ‘okay, that’s it, I’m not going to bother to enter the draft,’ so I left it as it is. There is always going to life after cricket so I’m just trying to adapt to normality.”
In the 2021 edition of the tournament, Gayle played 10 matches for the Punjab Kings — largely at no.3 — scoring 193 runs at a strike rate of 125.32. In the season prior, he appeared in seven games, scoring 288 runs.
Chris Gayle holds the record for the highest individual score in IPL history (175, against Pune Warriors India in 2013), and has scored 4,965 runs in the tournament in 142 matches at a strike rate of 148.96.
However, the West Indian also said later in the same interview that he will return to the IPL in 2023. “Next year I’m coming back, they need me!” Gayle chuckled.
“I’ve represented three teams in the IPL, Kolkata, RCB, and Punjab. Between RCB and Punjab, I would love to get a title, with one of those two teams. I had a great stint with RCB where I was more successful within the IPL, and Punjab, they’ve been good. I love to explore and I love challenges so let’s see what happens.”