India opener Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The left-hander, who was instrumental to India’s 2007 World T20 triumph and the 2011 World Cup win at home soil, announced his decision through an emotional video message on Facebook.
The Ranji Trophy game between Delhi and Andhra Pradesh starting December 6 at the Feroz Shah Kotla – which is Gambhir’s home ground – will be the last time Gauti will step into the cricket field.
Gambhir’s last appearance for India came in 2014 against England at Rajkot. He made his debut for the Indian national team in 2003 against Bangladesh beginning the course of a 15-year long illustrious career.
In 58 Test matches for India, Gambhir scored 4154 runs at an average of 41.96 with 9 hundreds and a double century. In 147 ODIs, he notched up 5238 runs at an average of 39.68 and registered 11 centuries and 34 half-centuries. The Delhi boy also left his mark in the shortest form of the sport. He played 37 T20 matches scoring 932 runs at an average of 27.41 with seven 50s to his name.
His most memorable moment in international cricket will perhaps be the 97 runs he scored from 122 balls in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka at home soil, where he together with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni (91 runs) dragged India to their first World Cup title in 28 years. Gambhir was also the top scorer in the inaugural 2007 World T20 final against Pakistan, which India won by 5 runs.
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.
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) December 4, 2018
The 37-year-old was also the first and only Indian batsman to score centuries in five consecutive matches and the only one to score over 300 runs in four consecutive Test series.
For his efforts, Gambhir was named the ICC Test Player of the Year in 2009 and he also attained the number one ranking in July that year.
Gambhir along with Anup Sridhar, Verghese Johnson, Dronavalli Harika, Prabhjot Singh, Pankaj Shrisat, Bajrang lal Thakkar, Avneet Kaur Sidhu and Alka Tomar was conferred the Arjuna Award, India’s second highest sporting award, in 2008 by the president of India.
But Gambhir’s success was not just limited to the international arena, he is also among the top players in List A cricket and the Indian Premier League.
The southpaw was initially part of the Delhi Daredevils squad in the IPL but was snapped by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011. That season of the IPL began a love-story affair that will forever be remembered in Indian cricket folklore.
Gambhir captained KKR to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014 and also led the Kolkata based franchise to semi-finals in the five of the seven seasons he captained them in.
In 2018, Gambhir decided to return to Delhi Daredevils but was forced to resign from the captaincy and eventually dropped from the team after some poor outings.
Incidentally, the former India player decided to call time on his career on the same day DD changed their name to Delhi Capitals. Gambhir was earlier released from the team.