Former West Indies batsman Chris Gayle will skip this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to focus on the new 60-ball competition named, the 6IXTY.
Gayle, brand ambassador for the tournament and in whose honour the trophy is named, said in a statement that he is “going for the shorter format this year”.
The 6IXTY, a joint venture between Cricket West Indies (CWI) and CPL, will feature six men’s and three women’s teams contesting a 10 overs-a-side tournament that will be played between August 24 to 28 at Warner Park in St Kitts.
The 10th edition of the CPL will start on August 30, two days after the end of the new tournament.
Under the rules of the 6IXTY, each batting team will have only six wickets, teams will lose a fielder if they bowl too slowly, and fans will vote for the timing of a “Mystery Free Hit”, where a batsman cannot be dismissed by the bowler.
“I am genuinely excited about the current innovations in the 6IXTY and seeing how they play out,” Gayle said. “In particular, I am looking forward to the mystery team ball and hitting two sixes in the first 12 balls to unlock a third Power Play over.”
The teams will play for The Universe Boss Trophy, and Gayle said it was “a great feeling” to actually have a trophy named after him.
“[It is] …something fantastic, and I am really and truly looking forward to it,” he said. “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.”
Gayle currently has the most runs, most hundreds, most sixes, and the most scores of 50 or more in T20 cricket.