Bid Adieu Gautam Gambhir – The Veteran Hang Up His Boots

Gautam Gambhir

Bid Adieu Gautam Gambhir:- The year was 2003, Indian cricket team was still licking the bruises and wounds of 2003 World Cup finals. The team was set to play a triangular series with Bangladesh and South Africa, Sachin Tendulkar was out of the tournament due to broken finger and fresh blood were given the worth to prove their mettle on an international podium.

Gautam Gambhir

The Young Turk Gautam Gambhir was included in the squad as an opener in the absence of Tendulkar. He wasted no time and scored a match-winning fifty in the third match and was awarded “Man of the match”. It was the first teaser of Gautam Gambhir to the world shouting what is Bid Adieu Gautam Gambhircoming in the near future.

A few months later Sachin Tendulkar made a grand come back and Gambhir was dropped. There is nothing much to talk about his ODI career till 2005, but amidst his test career blossomed,Bid Adieu Gautam Gambhir he hit blistering 96 against South Africa and scored his maiden test century against Bangladesh in December 2004.

His dream run didn’t last for long and he failed miserably in the upcoming Pakistan series and Sri Lanka and was later dropped from the test team. Although, he played few one-day internationals in between and scored his maiden ODI hundred against Sri Lanka in 2005.

Being not selected for the 2007 World Cup squad was one of the low points of Gautam Gambhir career. Bid Adieu Gautam GambhirAfter witnessing India’s nightmare performance in the 2007 World Cup, it proved to be a blessing in disguise for him. A few months later, he was selected for the Bangladesh tour, taking his selection seriously Gautam Gambhir scored his second test century and was selected for Ireland series.

He lived to the expectations and scored unbeaten 80 against Ireland and was finally selected for inaugural T20 World Cup 2007.

Gautam Gambhir Golden Form

Gautam Gambhir

The Inaugural T20 World Cup was the tournament, which changed Gautam Gambhir career forever. He was the top scorer of the tournament and scored the match winning 75 runs off 54 balls in the T20 World Cup finals. India won the World Cup after 25 years long wait and Gautam Gambhir Bid Adieu Gautam Gambhirbecame the permanent member of the Indian team across all formats. He scored 227 runs in 6 matches at an impressive average of 37.83.

His golden form continued from 2007-2011 and in the process, he was named ICC test player of the year in 2009. He scored mammoth 858 runs in 7 matches, which includes a double ton.

He was the leading scorer with 440 runs in the CB series 2008

He was the leading run scorer against Australia, England and New Zealand in the year 2008-09, which means he was the leading run scorer for 3 consecutive series. His purple Bid Adieu Gautam Gambhir patch continued for the next 3 years and he went on to score 8 test tons and 2855 runs in test cricket.

He scored 7 ODI centuries and 3357 runs during the period. Who can forget his match-winning knock of 97 in the World Cup finals 2011, the knock that can’t be replaced even by 1000 triple tons?

IPL Career

Gautam Gambhir started off his IPL career as a second leading run scorer in the first season with 524 runs in 14 matches. He was purchased by Delhi Daredevils. He remained top scorer for Delhi Daredevils for the next two seasons, but the destiny has some other plans for him.

In 2011 he was fetched by Kolkata Knight Rider for $2.4 million, which later proved to be a million dollar decision for both the parties. Gautam Gambhir was appointed the captain of Kolkata Knight Rider. Under Gambhir captaincy, Kolkata Knight Rider broke the string of failures and won them IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

He led the team with a vision, mission and objective. There wasBid Adieu Gautam Gambhir never an occasion when Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t qualify for the play offs.

Downfall and Retirement

Post 2011 World Cup triumph, India was whitewashed in England and Australia in a span of 4 months. Like other cricketers Gautam Gambhir too failed miserably in all the formats, but went unfinished due to previous track record.

But, the overseas debacle infected Gautam Gambhir domestic Bid Adieu Gautam Gambhir form too; he couldn’t convert his starts into big scores during the New Zealand and England series forcing the selector to take the stern call.

He was finally axed after the England tour and was replaced by Shikhar Dhawan in the both longer and shorter format in 2013.

He had to wait for next 3 years to become the part of Indian squad. He did make a comeback against England in 2016, but couldn’t do much with bat. He was also handed his old opening slot in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan , where he scored 79 in the Indore test, but was later dropped for rest of the series.

No one knew, this was the end of the illustrious career of Gautam Gambhir. Gautam Gambhir finally bid adieu to international cricket on 3 December 2018 and will play his last Ranji match for Delhi against Andhra Pradesh on 6 December 2018.

The 37 year old batsman announced his retirement in a video post shared on his twitter account. He is what he said

“Hi friends,

A big thanks to all of you for sparing time. Well, I am here to share a thought which I have been contemplating and I dare say dreading.

The thought has been with me day and night. It has travelled with me on flights like irritable excess garbage. It has accompanied me to practice sessions mocking like a menacing bowler. On certain other days, it has made my dinner taste horrible.

Grounds, dressing room, wash rooms, you name it the thought has rarely deserted me. Each me, I got out playing for India or KKR or Daredevils this would turn into a sharp disturbing noise and walk with me all the way to the dressing room shouting “IT IS OVER GAUTI”.

It slapped me hard, when I got those three ducks in a row in 2014 IPL. Then again when I had a dreadful tour to England the same year. In 2016 I was on my knees again. I was dropped after Rajkot test match against England. I was searching for my confidence in the deep, dark pit, but I could only lay my hands on the same sharp disturbing noise. It is the same “IT IS OVER GAUTI.”

But once again I refused to pay attention. I want to beat this noise. Instead of getting knocked down, I punished my body even more. The sleep became incidental. Early morning runs on to the ridge behind my house got longer. My personal trainers were instructed to be severe on me. I ate as if I was bankrupt.

In these times your love and action worked as steroids. I wanted to win again. I wanted to conquer again.

After a decent 2017 domestic season I entered this IPL with confidence as my best buddy. My feet seem to have got fresh batteries. My head was still as pond. And my game roaring like a raging ocean. I thought all those negative noises were dead. But I was wrong. Six games of IPL for Delhi Daredevils it was back. And this time it was louder than before. Perhaps, my time was up. Yes, my time was up. So here I am after more than 15 years of Cricket for my country I want to retire from playing this beautiful game. Despite all the aches and pains, fears and failures I won’t mind repeat of this in my next life too. But obviously with a few more wins for India, a few more hundreds and in the next life may be a few 5 wicket hauls as well.

This may sound a little wishful, but then I have seen wishes do come true. Two World Cups, highest run getter in the finals of these games is a stuff dreams are made of and I only had this dream of winning the World Cup for you all. I think someone up there was writing my script but looks now he has ran out of ink.”

But along the way he wrote some fascinating chapters. Someone on the top is being a part of the number one test team in the world. A trophy that I look at very fondly is the one that I got for being awarded ICC Test batsman of the year in 2009. For a pursuit like me it is a reward of somewhat knowing where my off stump was.

The historic series win in New Zealand and in CB series in Australia will be reflected upon fondly. But I do hope the current team down under can overshadow our feats. I won’t say the list is satisfactory as I feel I was good enough for a lot more.

Along this journey I have fostered some meaningful partnership. None more than with you guys, the supporters of Indian cricket, the most important stakeholders. I have always disapproved of the terms “fans” or “crowd”. It’s quite demeaning because at the end of the day it is you guys who make cricket or cricketers what they are.

Let me address you all as partners, the partners without which the Indian cricket is a body with soul. A big thanks for supporting me and the teams I played for. A special thanks to all my partners from Kolkata. We both wear our hearts on our sleeves. We both are very demanding and play with extreme passion, may be this is my love affair with Kolkata will continue forever.

Next on my thank you list are the curators, groundsmen and numerous dressing room attendants across India. They toiled for little or minimal returns for what is essentially treated as a thankless job. I hope their life standards improve from that they are now. A big thanks to each one of you.

I’d also like to thank numerous net bowlers who bowled to me so that I can become a better batsman. They travelled long distances just to help me practice. Thank you very much.

My cricket coach Mr Sanjay Bhardwaj stood with me during thick and thin of life. Whenever in trouble I could count on him. “Sir, I don’t know if I have you proud but I can assure you sir I gave it all that I had.” Sanjay sir introduced me to the other coaching influence of my life, the late Mr Parthasarthy Sharma. He was an institution in the art of batting. A lot of credit for my ability to play spin bowling should go to him. I hope I was worth his time.

Former Australia opening batsman Justin Langer was a huge help too. I turned to him in 2015 for some advice. I got that inplenty and some really heavy praises. “JL, I don’t know if you meant that I have the hands of Brian Lara but I thank you nevertheless. And tell your wife Sue that she does some amazing butter chicken.”

Through JL I met his childhood coach Noddy Holder. His simple approach of see the ball and hit it back to where it came from makes him one of the best that I have met. He is a very humble man and calls himself “NODDY NOBODY HOLDER”. But for my batting, Noddy was everybody.

I’d also like to thank all my coaches that I worked with in the Indian team, KKR, Delhi Daredevils and of course Delhi state teams. Each one them had a huge influence on my career and my personality.

The thing that I will miss the most is the camradrie of an Indian team’s dressing room. It was a wonderful place to be in. Yes, there are pressures of international sport but then when you have team-mates like I had these pressures look elementary. I learnt heaps from each one of them. I will miss all of that and more. Thank you guys, you all will be my one, big family.

Thank you DDCA and BCCI for helping me realise my dreams. Thank you KKR for giving me an opportunity to express myself as leader.

In the end I’d like to thank all my family members for their love and support. My parents, grand parents, both the mamas and maamis, my wife and my two little angels who took all my tantrums and mood swings.

I’d like to begin with the original talent scout of my family, my mom. It was she who took me to a proper cricket academy at the age of 10 and rest is history. In my tough times Mom was and is my favourite punching bag. I am extremely sorry mom i have been an absolute jughead.

My dad took more pressure than me whenever I played. He never shared with me but his colleagues would tell me he’d never watch TV when my game was on. Dad, you too can relax now.

My Maama who shaped me as a cricketer and human being is my real pillar of support. He is economical in words but is lavish in actions. What he did for me can never be matched or measured. I hope I have lived up to your expectations. Without seeking your permission I’d like to brag that I am your biggest achievement. Thanks Maama.

My late Maami was like my mother and a friend too. I am sure sitting up there she would still be worried if I ate properly or not. Once she was assured of my meals, she would ask me about my cricketing exploits.

My late naani was the same. I miss her loads everyday and most of all today. She was my biggest strength when I was going through the lows of my life. I hope I have done her and my Naana proud. Whatever I am today it is because of them.

My other Maama and Maami, thanks for standing by in pressure times. You pulled me out of a rut time and again.

To my dear darling sister Ektaa – sorry for not being there on most Rakhis. I am also sorry if I was always seeking attention from you. I am sure I have given you some bragging rights.

To my dear, dear friends Vivek and Dinesh – Thanks a lot for being there and praying for me. I am lucky to have you as friends. Especially Dinesh to have taken all the nonsense.

A special mention to Natasha, my wife. She is the one who has borne the brunt of my mood swings. Unfortunately she has shared more lows than highs with me. Thanks a lot for being there as my strength. Also babes you will see a lot more of me now. And as someone once said, “a retired husband is often a wife’s full time job.” So get ready for this new assignment.

At some stage I would like to shed the retired cricketers tag and would like to recycle myself to be useful for somethingelse in cricket and beyond. Lets see. Currently my immediate worry is that I have to take my elder daughter Aazeen to buy a yellow dress and the younger one Anaiza wants to play with her best friends, the dogs.

The next Ranji Trophy game against Andhra will be my last day in the Sun. It is all coming to an end from where it started at Ferozshah Kotla. I am big one on loyalty. I am glad that I could finish with teams that I started my journey with. In this case ending with both Delhi Daredevils and Delhi domestic side has given me immense satisfaction.

As a batsman I have always valued timing. I know the time is just right. I am sure it’s sweet as well. Good bye and good luck.

Thanks and regards,

Gautam Gambhir, now a former Indian cricketer

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