IPL 2021 PBKS vs RR: Cricket fraternity, fans slam Punjab Kings for dropping Chris Gayle on his birthday

Punjab Kings (PBKS) who are struggling in the IPL 2021 with four losses in seven games dropped birthday boy Chris Gayle from the squad for the match against Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Tuesday (September 21) and the cricket fraternity and fans are furious at the PBKS management for taking such decision.

Newly-picked South African batsman Aiden Markram made way for Gayle at No.3 in the lineup with Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, and Adil Rashid being the other overseas players. However, former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Kevin Pietersen, and fans were eagerly waiting to see destructive batsman Gayle in action, especially when the ‘Universe Boss’ is celebrating his 42nd birthday on Tuesday. However, that didn’t happen as the southpaw failed to make it Punjab’s final XI.

Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen was left frustrated over Gayle missing out on the XI. 

“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.

Indian batting legend Sunil Gavaskar was left astonished and opined that it made ‘zero sense’. 

“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 on his birthday, it makes zero sense,” explained Gavaskar.

Meanwhile, Twitterati also reacted to Chris Gayle’s omission:





Notably, Gayle was part of all the eight games that PBKS played in the first half of IPL 2021, scoring 178 runs at 25.42.

Earlier, PBKS captain KL Rahul won the toss and elected to bowl against RR at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

This clash sees two sides in desperate need of a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive. Both PBKS and RR are on six points, but crucially for KL Rahul’s men, they’ve played one more game than RR, so they need this win even more.

Playing XI:

Punjab Kings: KL Rahul(w/c), Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Adil Rashid, Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel.

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson(w/c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Evin Lewis, Liam Livingstone, Mahipal Lomror, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, Kartik Tyagi

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Sagar Biswas

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