The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is just a day away and the newly-rechristened Punjab Kings seem to be in a good mood. West Indies opener Chris Gayle has completed his mandatory quarantine and joined the rest of the team in the hotel as well as the practice sessions.
Punjab Kings posted a video on social media, where Sarfaraz Khan can be seen mimicking Darren Sammy’s playing style in front of cricketers from West Indies, and he also receives Chris Gayle’s approval. The Mumbai batsman’s acting was so funny that it left his audience in splits, with Gayle stating, “Yeah, that’s Sammy. That’s Sammy for real!”
Here is the video:
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) April 7, 2021
IPL 2021 is scheduled to begin on Friday (April 9), with defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) set to face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the season opener. Punjab Kings will play their first match on April 12, when they face Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Punjab Kings had a bittersweet campaign during the 2020 season in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Missing out on a playoff spot, they finished at sixth position during the league phase, with six wins and eight defeats.
Another West Indian batsman Nicholas Pooran, who is also part of the Punjab Kings franchise, says he looks up to Chris Gayle.
“I look up to him (Gayle). He is one of my favourite batsmen. When I was growing up, I loved to watch him bat. I used to wake up early in the mornings to see him bat. He is a simple guy. He gives me the simplest advice, which is, ‘enjoy yourself and just stay as still as possible’,” the 25-year-old from Trinidad was quoted as saying by news agency IANS.
“This is the best advice he can give to someone because he plays his game like that. You see him on the field and you know – it is all about enjoyment and entertainment,” he added.
With an aim to challenge for playoffs in IPL 2021, Punjab Kings roped in Australian pacer Jhye Richardson for Rs 14 crore during the player auction. Riley Meredith was bought for Rs 8 crore.