Dubai: The ‘Universe Boss’ has landed in the UAE and is ready to help the fortunes of his Kings XI Punjab teammates when the 13th edition of the IPL kicks off on September 19 in the UAE.
Having successfully returned two negative COVID-19 tests in his native Kingston, Jamaica, Gayle attended the birthday celebrations of ace sprinter Usain Bolt, before flying in to the UAE in style.
Taking to his Instagram account, the self-titled Universe Boss posted a picture of himself in his First Class cabin with the message: “Don’t tell me about the sky. Right now I have no limits. I want a whopper, I’m getting a whopper!! #UniverseBoss #Dubai #ImBack.”
The highest run-scorer in T20s, Gayle also posted videos of his swab testing before his flight to the UAE.
There were most COVID-19 tests awaiting the 40-year-old Jamaican giant at Dubai International Airport, which will be followed by a mandatory six-day quarantine at his hotel with further testing scheduled for days one, three and five.
Only if he passes these tests will be allowed to meet the rest of his KXIP teammates in the bio-secure bubble at the Sofitel Dubai The Palm.
One man who was delighted with Gayle’s arrival in Dubai was Punjab skipper Kannur Lokesh Rahul who said in a video posted on the official IPL website: “We at Kings XI Punjab have had a great experience with Chris and me luckily, I have played with him for years now, we have shared great friendship, we have had some partnerships in the middle, he is a great guy to have in the team.
“He will be a part of our core group, with the kind of experience he has, he will be somebody who will win matches for us.”
Gayle has featured in 24 matches for Punjab, whose best result in the IPL was when they were runners up to KKR in 2014.
A former member of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gayle has scored 858 runs with his highest score being 104 not out in the 2018 edition.
The IPL 2020 will be played from September 19-November 10 in the UAE across three venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.