Kolkata Knight Riders sprung a huge surprise when they did not retain their most successful skipper Gautam Gambhir.
After finishing in the bottom half of the table for the first three years of the tournament, the Kolkata-based franchise had paid a whopping amount of $2.4 million to secure Gambhir’s services in 2011, and it turned out to be one of the best signings in the history of the league. Under Gambhir’s captaincy, the Knight Riders qualified for the IPL playoffs and also made it to the Champions League Twenty20 for the first time in 2011.
He eventually led the side to their first title in 2012 by beating defending champions Chennai Super Kings. Two years later, he led the team to their second title, making the Knight Riders one of the most successful teams in the leagues. Even in the last season, he led the side to a third-place finish in the league. Moreover, Gambhir was also the batting mainstay of the side since joining the side. In the seven seasons, he scored 3,035 runs with the help of 27 half-centuries.
However, the franchise surprisingly decided not to retain him and instead they retained West Indies duo – Andre Russell, and Sunil Narine.
But despite the heartbreaking decision from the franchise, Gambhir does not have any grudge against the franchise as he said he took the team’s decision on the chin.
“As a cricketer you have more bad days than good ones. I have learnt to handle reversals. I respect the decision that KKR management took and I share a super relationship with them. The communication was seamless and absolutely transparent between us. They had a point of view which was backed by solid rationale and I took that on board. So no hard feelings,” he told The Times of India.
With his track record both as player and captain being outstanding in the IPL, Gambhir is set to garner big attention during the upcoming auction which will take place on January 27 and 28. When asked what would he do on the auction day, the World Cup-winning star said:
“I may be on the flight back to Delhi on January 27 when my name comes up for auction. Or I may already be home depending on our result of tomorrow’s Mushtaq Ali game. If I am home I don’t think my little one Aazeen will let me watch anything except our favourite Doraemon cartoon series. We both absolutely love it and who knows Doraemon has a gadget which can give me a fantastic auction!!!”
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