The unsung hero of Indian cricket, Gautam Gambhir has recently announced his retirement from all form of cricket which came all of a sudden that no one even thought of it. Though he didn’t get that attention ever what he should get, he has no regret on that even if it meant an “unfulfilled career” and “lot of enemies”, he got “sleep peacefully at night”.
Recently in an interview with PTI, he shared that he can’t tolerate any wrong-doings.
“It’s not only about cricketing system, in general our society doesn’t like to be shown the mirror. We like to maintain the status quo and not look at the reality. I get suffocated by all this,” Gambhir added. “I can’t tolerate wrong things and artificiality. A lot of people around me say that I could have been diplomatic but that is simply not me. Yes, I made many enemies but I slept in peace.”
In his 15-year long cricketing career, he scored 4,154 runs in 58 Tests, 5,238 in 147 ODIs and 932 in 37 T20I matches for India. Along with these, he played 198 First-class matches, 299 List-A matches and 251 T20 matches where he scored 15153 runs, 10077 runs, and 6402 runs respectively.
Last year, Gambhir had an ugly fight with KP Bhaskar, when he told that the former coach was trying to destroy the career of junior players. He had arguments with Chetan Chauhan over Navdeep Saini, a rookie bowler, who he thought has the ability to go long.
But he never gets frightened to say the right thing to the people.
“It did affect me. I am human after all but then like I said, I could not have let the unfair (practices) prevail. Look, I am not being holier than thou but some of the things that go on in our system are absolutely ridiculous. I was vocal about them and I paid the price by having an unfulfilled career,” Gambhir expressed with a sad note.
While talking about the misunderstanding and how that affected his career, he said,
“Misunderstood a lot of times. For example, if I said, a captain is as good as his team, media and critics thought I was taking a dig at M.S. Dhoni. These critics would conveniently ignore when I repeated the statement when I was leading KKR or Delhi Ranji team. All these misunderstandings played a negative part in my career,” he admitted.
Though he is a son of a wealthy businessman, to create his own identity urged him to push the limits as he didn’t get anything easily and had to fight for everything.
“A lot of people would say that I didn’t need to play the game as I came from an affluent background. But I wanted to have an identity of my own, I wanted my dad should be known through me rather than the other way round. Besides, I didn’t get anything on a platter, as I had to fight at each and every step. Therefore I am up for a scrap each time someone throws a challenge at me,” he said.
With 8.63 million followers on Twitter, sometimes Gambhir’s views on many political issues have got mixed reactions from the people. Recently he has criticized the Delhi government for air pollution in the national capital. While asking about his take on prominent politicians or a political party, he replied that he does nothing with any prior “planning”.
“I am not taking anyone (on) or I am not doing it with any planning. It just comes naturally to me. I want to raise issues rather than get personal. I think it is my right to question if things are not falling in place. I would urge each Indian to do it, otherwise we will be steamrolled by the system,” Gambhir replied.
He decided to take the retirement in the middle of the season despite scoring a ton in his final appearance.
“Well, there is never a right time or a wrong time for decisions such as retirement. I have been thinking about it for some time but enthusiasm and eagerness to win got the better of retirement thoughts.”
His shoulder niggle was also the other reason for his retirement. Moreover, he thinks there are so many new talents are coming up and they will experience the game as well.
“I wanted to captain and play for the entire season but due to my shoulder niggles, I thought I should re-look at that plan. I discussed with my family and they were also of the opinion that I should move on. In fact, it is good as so many youngsters are also coming through. At least they will get a look in now to play for Delhi,” said Gambhir.
While talking about himself, he expressed that he was never destiny’s favorite child and could have played a lot more for the country.
“Well, destiny has been mixed to me. I think I was good enough to play a lot more but variables were not in favour. But then I also had the honour of winning not one but two World Cup titles. So, the hundred in my last game is one more day when destiny has been kind to me.”