Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has admitted making a “lot of enemies” throughout his cricketing career, but was unaffected with the end game to this regard, as it helped him “sleep peacefully in nights”.
The feisty Delhi born cricketer feels that the Indian society is such that they won’t be able to digest the truth when it is presented right in front of them.
“It’s not only about a cricketing system, in general, but our society also 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,”
“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, I can’t tolerate wrong things and artificiality,” Gambhir expressed.
Gautam Gambhir was a gutsy player for India and had been largely vocal whenever he felt something wasn’t been done right, be it from the DDCA administration, or the former Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi on a certain political statement.
“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 shared.
“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.
The 37-year-old believes that he was a misunderstood individual by the masses, and also paid note to the fact that he wanted to make it to the world stage on his own, in spite of belonging to a well-off family from Delhi.
“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.
“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,” the fighter in him comes out.
Though Gautam Gambhir wanted more opportunities to represent the nation in the field of cricket, he was nothing but grateful for the achievements and accolades that the left-hand batsman registered to his name, with the two World Cup titles (ICC World T20 & ICC Cricket World Cup) being branded as the pinnacle of his success.
“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.”
Gautam Gambhir had a fairytale ending to his illustrious career as he bagged a memorable ton for his hometown – Delhi against Andhra in the Ranji Trophy game, at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.
In first-class cricket, Gambhir piled on 15,041 runs and also has a monumental 10,077 runs in List A cricket. Gautam Gambhir's 112 of 185 deliveries against Andhra was his 43rd hundred in first-class cricket.
About the Author
Comes from the United Arab Emirates, is a sports junkie and a journalist, who has been following cricket as well as football since childhood. Played cricket in academies, school, and university levels. A fanatic follower of one of Europe's biggest ever football clubs - Manchester United.