West Indies batting legend Chris Gayle is known for being one of the most destructive cricketers in the modern-day game. He has dominated T20 cricketing leagues over the world, and had an unforgettable impact in the IPL across his stints for three teams, Kolkata Knight Riders, ROyal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab / Punjab Kings.
The 43-year-old had signed up for the IPL mega-auction in February after he was released by Punjab, but withdrew his name before it began. In an interview with the Mirror UK, he expressed that a lack of respect was why he no longer wished to continue playing the IPL.
“For the last couple of years, the way the IPL went about, I felt like I wasn’t treated properly,” Gayle said. “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.”
Chris Gayle hinted that he would like to win a title with RCB or PBKS
However, later on in the same interview Gayle expressed an interest in wanting to return to the league. “Next year I’m coming back, they need me! 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.”
Gayle no longer being part of the IPL was truly the end of an era for the tournament. He has 4965 runs from 142 innings, while batting at a strike-rate of 148. The peak of his IPL career was during his stint with RCB between 2011-2017, and he scored over 600 runs per season consecutively in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Gayle is responsible for the highest ever score by any IPL batter, his undefeated 175 off 63 balls against the Pune Warriors India in 2013.