West Indies opener Chris Gayle will leave the Indian Premier League (IPL) bio-bubble to "refresh" himself ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, his franchise Punjab Kings said on Thursday.
The 42-year-old put the decision down to bubble fatigue, having played under similar restrictions during the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
"Over the last few months, I have been a part of the CWI bubble, CPL bubble followed by the IPL bubble, and I wish to mentally recharge and refresh myself," Gayle said.
"I want to refocus on helping the West Indies in the T20 World Cup and would like to take a break in Dubai. My thanks to the Punjab Kings for giving me the time off."
With over 14,000 runs in T20 cricket, Gayle is the top run-getter in the game's shortest format and helped his country to win the 2012 and 2016 World Cups.
Before joining the Kings in 2018, Gayle was a mainstay for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. He has also appeared for a number of other T20 franchises across the world in a career spanning over 20 years.
"I've played against Chris and ... all through the years I've known him he has always been an absolute professional and we as a team respect his decision and desire to prepare himself for the T20 World Cup," said Kings head coach Anil Kumble.
West Indies take on England in their opening match of the tournament on Oct. 23 in Dubai.