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Gautam Gambhir Recalls His First Shy Interaction With Sunil Narine
By CricShots - May 30, 2024 12:47 pm
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Sunil Narine has been a cornerstone of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for 12 remarkable years. Known for his consistent match-winning performances, Narine has been a silent warrior for KKR, earning unwavering support from then-captain Gautam Gambhir.

Gautam gambhir
Gautam Gambhir

Now serving as KKR’s mentor, Gambhir recently shared insights into Narine’s early days with the team and their evolving relationship. Narine, known for his calm demeanour even in moments of triumph, is a rarity in cricket. He celebrates wickets with minimal fuss, reflecting his composed personality.

Gautam Gambhir, who led KKR to IPL championships in 2012 and 2014, recalled Narine’s initial reticence and a memorable first encounter.

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Gambhir recounted, “When Narine first joined the IPL in 2012, we were in Jaipur heading to practice. I invited him to join us for lunch. He was so shy that he didn’t utter a word throughout the meal. The first question he eventually asked was, ‘Can I bring my girlfriend to the IPL?'” Gambhir’s anecdote, quoted by NDTV Sports, highlights Narine’s reserved nature during his early days with the franchise.

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine

Gautam Gambhir further elaborated on their unique bond, stating, “He was incredibly quiet that first season, but now, we can talk about anything. He is like a brother to me. I don’t see him just as a friend or a teammate; I see him as a brother. If I need him or he needs me, we are just one call away. That’s the sort of relationship we have built. We don’t get overly excited, we don’t show too many emotions, and we aren’t flamboyant. We just do our job and come back.”

Narine’s outstanding contributions were once again acknowledged when he won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the IPL 2024, marking the third time he has received this honour—the most for any player in T20 cricket. His stellar performance as an all-rounder saw him promoted to the opening batting position, where he scored 488 runs and took 17 wickets. Gambhir emphasized that Narine’s value to the team transcends statistical achievements.

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Gautam Gambhir remarked, “What can I say about him? Even if he didn’t win the ‘most valuable player award,’ he would still be our MVP. You’re looking at his stats, but he was KKR’s MVP even before the season began. The world has seen his talent as an all-rounder, and I’m confident that Narine still has plenty to offer KKR and world cricket.”

Through years of dedication and exceptional performances, Sunil Narine has not only become an indispensable player for KKR but also forged a deep, familial bond with his mentor, Gautam Gambhir. This unique relationship and Narine’s consistent excellence continue to be pivotal for the franchise’s success.