Sanjiv Goenka showed mirror by Gautam Gambhir as Shah Rukh Khan conspired behind closed doors

Published - 28 May 2024, 10:44 AM | Updated - 28 May 2024, 10:54 AM

Gautam Gambhir and Shah Rukh Khan
Gautam Gambhir and Shah Rukh Khan. Image Credit: BCCI-IPL

Gautam Gambhir’s return to the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is certainly one of the most impactful comebacks in IPL history. Over eight seasons with KKR, Gambhir clinched three IPL trophies, an achievement that places him alongside the likes of Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni, who have won five titles as captains.

However, Gambhir's journey with KKR saw him lift two trophies as a captain in 2012 and 2014, and now, a decade later, he won the third IPL trophy as the team’s mentor. His return has recharged the Kolkata-based franchise and ended their wait of one decade for the IPL trophy.

Gautam Gambhir and Shah Rukh Khan's reunion won KKR the IPL 2024 trophy 

After KKR’s IPL 2024 triumph, the franchise co-owner and Bollywood megastar, Shah Rukh Khan, was seen ecstatic and jubilant, just like he was in 2014 when the team had last won the cup. Gambhir and Shah Rukh Khan’s partnership has always been fruitful for the KKR, but their paths were separated after 2017.

Gambhir returned to his home base to play for the Delhi Capitals (DC) in the IPL 2028, which turned out to be his last season before retiring from all forms of cricket. He then transitioned to a mentorship role with the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in 2022. Despite leading LSG to back-to-back IPL playoff appearances, Gambhir felt it was time for a change, which opened the door for his return to KKR.

Now, it is being said that a series of meetings between SRK and Gambhir took place from 2018 to 2022. According to a report in Dainik Jagran, they initially avoided talking about cricket, but the idea of Gambhir’s return to KKR eventually took center stage last year. SRK’s convincing skills came into play when he invited Gambhir to his home, Mannat, where he made an appealing offer to him.

Gautam Gambhir couldn't deny Shah Rukh Khan's appeal deal

The Bollywood icon proposed a long-term association with KKR, pitching the idea of a ten-year involvement with KKR, which Gambhir found too appealing to refuse. It all happened behind closed doors, and even the LSG owner, Sanjiv Goenka, was in the dark. When news broke about Gambhir’s potential exit from LSG, Goenka was reportedly caught off guard.

Despite LSG’s decent performance under Gambhir's mentorship, he felt his future wasn’t with the team, and he somehow convinced the LSG owner to release him. Then the appeal of returning to KKR, coupled with SRK’s compelling vision and offer, sealed the deal for Gambhir and he returned to his favorite franchise.

In November 2023, the KKR made the official announcement that Gambhir was returning to the side as a mentor. His comeback was not just a sentimental reunion but a strategic masterstroke. Under his guidance, KKR clinched another IPL title.

Gambhir’s return has not only energized the team with a solid winning mentality but also rekindled the passion of the KKR fan base. His leadership, combined with the unwavering support of SRK, has done wonders for the franchise, and his legacy with the Knight Riders continues to grow.