‘Makes zero sense, why’d you do that?’ – Kevin Pietersen, Sunil Gavaskar unhappy as Punjab Kings drop Chris Gayle on birthday
Punjab Kings didn't pick Chris Gayle on his 42nd birthday.
Updated - Sep 21, 2021 8:28 pm
Kevin Pietersen and Sunil Gavaskar expressed their disappointment and shock as Punjab Kings left out Chris Gayle from their XI for their first game of the second phase of the IPL 2021. Kings opted for Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Adil Rashid, and Fabian Allen in their XI against Rajasthan Royals in Dubai on Tuesday, September 21.
What also didn’t sit well with the two former cricketers was the fact that Gayle wasn’t picked on his birthday. The West Indian legend turned 42 on Tuesday. He was part of the Punjab Kings side in each of the matches during the first leg in India. However, he wasn’t in the best form. Even during the recent Caribbean Premier League, he failed to score a single score above 50 runs.
Former English batter Pietersen said that the legendary cricketer shouldn’t have been left out on his birthday. “There will be some questions asked. I don’t understand why you would leave Chris Gayle out on his birthday. If there was one game you were going to play him, it was this one. If he fails then you say ‘ok, you can have a bit of rest’. So I can’t understand the thinking at all,” Pietersen said on Star Sports.
You drop him for this game on his birthday, it makes zero sense: Sunil Gavaskar
Former Indian legend added that he was ‘astonished’ at the decision of dropping Gayle for the XI. He further said that the four players whom the Punjab Kings have picked might well win them the game. But, the former cricketer, who is currently serving as a commentator in the IPL 2021 broadcast, felt it wasn’t right to leave him out on his birthday.
“The fact remains that on your birthday, you are leaving one of the stellar players of the T20 format. Not just in the IPL – the CPL, the Big Bash. You name it, every single T20 league he has dominated. And you drop him for this game on his birthday, it makes zero sense,” said Gavaskar.
Speaking of Gayle’s place in the side, the South African batsman Aiden Markram and England spinner Adil Rashid’s entry to the squad as replacement players seemed to have played a part. Gayle’s own form might have played a part too. In 2021, he has averaged 25.42 with the bat after playing 8 matches.