The 18-year-long cricketing journey of Gautam Gambhir is going to end soon as the Delhi opener is going to play his final cricket match that will be played against Andhra at Delhi, starting on December 6.
Recently, on Tuesday (December 4), the former no.1 Test and T20I ranked batsman Gambhir announced his retirement from the game where he told that the upcoming Ranji Trophy match against Andhra will be his final cricket match.
Wherever Gambhir has played in his cricketing career, he has mostly achieved successes. Playing for India, Delhi, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the renowned left-handed batsman has the huge number of success list, both personally and as a team way.
The former Delhi cricketer and present Delhi senior selector Amit Bhandari recently shared some of his experiences with Gambhir.
Bhandari told CricketNext, “We met first time in the stadium, at the Indira Gandhi National stadium, where I used to train and Gautam also came there in 1996-97. He made his debut for Delhi a few years later in 1999 and I felt some big player was coming to our team. How he performed for India, led the team, knocks in the two World Cups, he has done something to be remembered throughout his life.
“We have shared a room also for close to 10 years, playing for India A and Delhi. One thing was clear that whatever he had in his heart was on his mouth. I remember one incident when we had gone to play Deodhar Trophy in Goa. We went to the restaurant and asked ‘Chicken Lollilop milega, they said No. Chicken sandwich milega, No; Soup milega, No. So, he finally asked the waiter, do you have a lock? To laga do! (lock it).”
Incidentally, the 26-year-old right-handed top-order batsman Dhruv Shorey will lead the Delhi side for the first time during the upcoming Andhra game, the final game of Gautam Gambhir. The young man has credited Gambhir as a leader.
Shorey said about Gambhir, “It is my first match as a captain, but the team is not unsettled. Gautam bhaiya is never out, he’ll always be here to help us whenever we need him. In my debut match, my first run was with Gautam bhaiya at the other end. He has helped me a lot with a lot of things — be it mentally or technically or with any other support. He has kept the dressing room light, I know he’ll always be there with us, be it as a mentor or as a coach.
“His way to lead the side has been really positive and I hope to emulate him. He is a fighter on the field, the way he fields, bats or leads the side. He told me to be aggressive and positive and I should lead from the front.”
On the other hand, Delhi’s present coach Mithun Manhas was the former skipper and teammate of Gambhir. The 39-year-old Manhas has impressed on Gambhir’s commitment as a cricketer.
Manhas commented about the 37-year-old, “Our relationship dates back many years when Gautam was selected to play for Delhi in 1999, coming up from the Under-19 side. He always had passion and determination and on top of that was hard-working. The year we won Ranji Trophy (2007-08), Gautam’s commitment was quite a lot. He scored a century in practically every game (730 runs in 5 matches with 4 centuries). Considering the fact that when one plays for India, the enthusiasm might wane but wherever Gautam has played, he has played to win.”