Kolkata: West Indies and Afghanistan’s gains will be Pakistan Super League’s (PSL) loss as Chris Gayle and Rashid Khan, two of the biggest overseas stars in the ongoing league, have left for home due to international commitments after appearing in just two matches each in the competition.
Gayle was in Pakistan after a long gap of 15 years to feature in the league as he last toured the country with the West Indies team in 2006. Gayle finds himself in the national squad to play against Sri Lanka while Rashid will be playing against Zimbabwe.
“I am glad to be playing cricket at this particular time,” Gayle, who is the only player to smash more than a thousand sixes in T20 cricket, said.
“Playing during this particular time is a blessing. Hopefully, things can get better in the future. When you look at what’s happening in the world, there are no fans in the stadiums and people have to watch cricket on television. It is something people and players look back and say we have to appreciate times when we actually had good things and not take them for granted. Things are tough with the world in pause. We must not take life for granted when things can open. We’re going to try to live the best life and live it to the fullest, spend more time with family and friends and reach out to the people a lot more,” the ‘Universe Boss’ said in an emotional message.
Gayle hoped cricket would start again at its fullest. “I am sure players are still hungry for it. It is our livelihood, it is our job, our earning and that is what we know.”
The 41-year-old Jamaican smashed a 24-ball 39 in the first match and followed it up with a rapid fire 40-ball 68 for Quetta gladiators against Lahore Qalandars on Monday.
Gayle was the leading run scorer in the format with 13,691 runs at an average of 38.35 and a staggering strike rate of 146.86.
“It was a great experience playing in the PSL for the first time and hopefully I can be back next year,” Rashid said. Rashid, who is very much in demand in leagues around the world including the IPL, impressed everyone with his leg spin bowling and all-round abilities in both the matches in Karachi.
“It’s sad that I have to leave PSL because I wanted to play the full season. I wanted to come here and dominate the PSL. I wanted to give the fans something to cheer about,” he said after the match.
Quetta Gladiators have signed South Africa’s Faf du Plessis as Gayle’s replacement and he has reached Karachi to complete a quarantine period.