'Makes 0 sense. Questions will be asked': Pietersen, Gavaskar 'astonished' as Punjab Kings ignore Gayle on 42nd birthday
Former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen wershocked to see Punjab Kings leave out Chris Gayle from their Playing XI on the occasion of the swashbuckling batsman's 42nd birthday. PBKS skipper KL Rahul that the four overseas players the team went ahead with for Match 32 of the IPL 2021 against Rajasthan Royals in Dubai are Nicholas Pooran, Adil Rashid, Aiden Markram and Fabian Allen.
Pietersen, who before the start of the game interviewed Gayle, could not wrap his head around the fact that PBKS would leave Gayle out of their team on the day of his birthday.
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"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 failed 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.
Gavaskar said he was 'astonished' to see Gayle not make it to the team. Citing the Universe Boss as someone who has dominated T20 leagues across the world, the former India captain feels the call makes 'zero sense'.
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"I, like KP, am absolutely astonished that Chris Gayle is not playing today. The four overseas players that have been picked today, can play brilliantly and win the game for Punjab Kings today. But the fact remains that on your birthday, you are leaving one of the stellar players of T20 format. Not just in IPL – the CPL, the Big Bash. You name it, every single T20 league he has dominated. And you drop him for this game om on his birthday, it makes zero sense," explained Gavaskar.
Gayle featured in all 8 matches for PBKS in the first half, scoring 178 runs at an average of 25.42 without a single half-century.