CPL 2022: ‘Universe boss’ Chris Gayle opts out of CPL, turns focus to new-formed 6ixty

West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle has confirmed that he will be skipping the upcoming Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2022 season and will instead play in the newly introduced format, ‘6ixty’.

The 6IXTY tournament includes six men’s teams and three women’s teams. The tournament will held on August 24, 2022 in St. Kitts and Nevis, with 6IXTY claiming that Chris Gayle, the West Indies’ dangerous batsman, will be its brand ambassador.

The ‘6ixty’ is a T10 tournament with innovative roles that will be played from August 24 to 28 in St Kitts, just days prior to the CPL 2022.

“I am going for the shorter format this year,” Gayle said in a media statement.

“I am genuinely excited about the current innovations in the 6ixty and seeing how they play out. In particular I am looking forward to the mystery team ball and hitting two sixes in the first 12 balls to unlock a third powerplay over.” Gayle was quoted as saying.

Gayle, 42, has hit 2519 runs in the CPL at an average of 36.50 and strike rate of 133.13. Only Lendl Simmons (2629) has more runs than Gayle in the league. Gayle’s last competitive game was for Fortune Barishal in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) in February earlier this year.

The title has been named the Universe Boss Trophy in honor of Chris Gayle. He said he was happy to have a trophy in his name.

“It is a great feeling to actually have a trophy named after The Universe Boss, something fantastic, and I am really and truly looking forward to it. I am sure people will ask if this is real, a trophy named for Chris Gayle. Yes, it is happening, and I am really happy about it. I am looking forward to all the innovations.”

Pete Russell, CEO of Hero CPL, said that Gayle was a big part of CPL’s success. He is happy to say that there is no one in cricket who represents the power game as well as Gayle.

“Chris Gayle has been such a huge part of the CPL’s success, and we are delighted he has agreed to be a big part for this exciting new opportunity Caribbean for cricket. There is no one who better represents Cricket’s Power Game, and partnering with him for this event is hugely exciting. We can’t wait to watch Chris smash even more sixes at The 6IXTY.”

Gayle holds several different records in the Twenty20 format. Of these, gayle is the highest scorer in the Twenty20 format. CWI President Ricky Skerritt said this was the best way to thank Gayle for his years of entertainment.

“Chris has been the most prolific run scorer in white ball cricket and has served West Indies outstandingly well in all versions of the game. The 6IXTY is a perfect way to pay tribute to Chris and to thank him for his many years of his entertainment of CPL and West Indian fans everywhere.”

The new tournament features quirky new rules, including the possibility of an extra over of powerplay fielding restrictions if a team hits two sixes in their first 12 balls, and the chance for the crowd to vote on when a random free hit will be inserted into an innings.

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