THE EDITOR: Chris Gayle's sudden and unexpected withdrawal and subsequent bubble breach in the middle of this year's India Premier League (IPL) may have dire consequences for younger West Indian cricketers who have aspirations of joining a foreign franchise.
One can understand that players do get frustrated and suffer claustrophobic-like symptoms as we have seen with tennis star Naomi Osaka, gymnast Simone Biles in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and others.
However, cricket is played in a different context as this is a team sport. Cricketers represent countries or regions and the world sees players as a product of where they come from. Therefore, leaving the Punjab Kings and the IPL can have consequences for other players from Gayle’s country and even the West Indies outfit.
It can be seen as just taking a “free ride” to Dubai to spend a holiday. Or a player who, believing that he is in the twilight of his career since his recent performances have not been very good, decides to have one last hurrah.
In two matches he was only able to make 15 runs in the IPL. In the CPL, played earlier, he made just 193 runs in ten innings playing for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Either way it does not speak well for our young and upcoming players who have their hopes on being called up for one of the leagues around the world. It may be seen as a lack of commitment.
Gayle has been a great ambassador for Jamaican and West Indies cricket over many years and we don't want to see him go out on a sour note. He should have thought about this decision longer before making that move.