Former India opener Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms cricket. Gambhir revealed the same in an emotional video posted on his Facebook page and Twitter handle.
“The most difficult decisions are often taken with the heaviest of hearts. And with one heavy heart, I’ve decided to make an announcement that I’ve dreaded all my life,” Gambhir wrote on his Twitter handle
In a career that spanned 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20 internationals for the Indian cricket team, Gambhir went on to win two global titles. He was the top scorer for India in both the 2007 ICC WT20 final as well as the 2011 ICC World Cup final.
Gambhir 4154 runs at an average of 41.95 in Test cricket with 9 centuries and 22 half-centuries. In ODIs, he scored 5238 runs at an average of 39.68 with 11 centuries and 34 half-centuries.
“I am here to share a thought which I’ve been contemplating and I dare say, dreading. The thought has been with me day and night on flights like an irritable excess baggage. It has accompanied me to practice session, mocking at me like a menacing bowler. On certain other days, it made my dinner taste bitter,” Gambhir said in an emotional video.
“Each time I got out playing for India, for KKR or for Delhi Daredevils, this thought 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 the 2014 IPL, then again when I had a dreadful tour to England in the same year. Then again I was on my knees in 2016. I was dropped after the Rajkot Test against England. I was searching for myself in the deep dark pit, and again it said. “It is over Gauti”
“But once I refused to pay attention, I punished my body. The early morning runs behind my house became longer. My personal trainers were asked to be severe on me, I ate like I was bankrupt. In these times your love and affection acted as steroids, I wanted to win again, to conquer again.
“After a decent 2017 domestic season, I entered this year’s IPL season with confidence as my best buddy. My feet seemed to have got fresh batteries. My head was still as a pond. My game roaring as a raging ocean. I thought all those noises were dead. But I was wrong, 6 games of IPL for the 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 fears and failures, aches and pains, I would want a repeat of this in my next life too. But obviously with a few more wins for India, and in the next life, few more 5-wicket hauls. This may sound wishful, but I’ve seen wishes come true,” Gambhir signed off in his emotional video
Gambhir guided Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles and was the captain of the Delhi Daredevils franchise in 2018, before being replaced by Shreyas Iyer mid-season.