Chris Gayle opts out of sixth season of Big Bash League

Flamboyant West Indian batsman Chris Gayle has opted out of the forthcoming sixth season of the Big Bash League. The 37-year-old Twenty20 star, voiced his decision on Sunday (November 27), in an onfield interview during Chittagong Vikings’ Bangladesh Premier League 2016 clash against Rangpur Rider. Gayle, who has been riddled by a troublesome back, will instead spend time with the family during the festival period.

“Out of the Big Bash League this year, will spend time with family,” a mic’d-up Gayle told commentators during his first BPL appearance of the 2016 season.

Gayle, who played for the Melbourne Renegades in the fifth season of Australia’s T20 league, was involved in a major controversy in the 2015-16 season for his inappropriate on-air exchange with broadcaster Mel McLaughlin. He was subsequently fined for his alleged sexist behaviour, with Cricket Australia considering barring the T20 star from future participation.

Although the board subsequently softened its stand, it was reported that several Big Bash clubs were not particularly interested in acquiring the services of the belligerent batsman. Gayle, who issued an apology in the aftermath of the incident, endured a rather lukewarm season, managing only 260 runs from eight games – his only half-century coming in the final game as as the Renegades finished fifth in the league standings and failed to qualify for the semifinal.

The sixth season of BBL starts on December 20, with the tournament final scheduled for January 28.

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