Gautam Gambhir, who helped lead India to the 2011 World Cup and the third highest run-getter among Indian Test openers, has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket Tuesday (December 4).
Gambhir, who announced his decision through a video post on his Facebook page, thanked his team-mates, coaches and his family for their support, and he also reflected on the help from former Australia batsman Justin Langer.
“I will miss all of that and more, thank you guys. You all will be my one big family,” Gambhir said in his video message.
Gambhir’s last international appearance came in November 2016 when he featured in the first Test against England in Rajkot, where he finished with scores of 29 and 0. Delhi’s next Ranji Trophy encounter against Andhra, beginning December 6, will be his last game.
In a Test career spanning 12 years, Gambhir scored 4119 runs at an average of 42.92 with nine hundreds and 22 fifties. Gambhir’s only double century in Test cricket came in the game against Australia at his home ground Feroz Shah Kotla in 2008 where he scored 206.
He was named the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year in 2009 apart from being named in the ICC Test team of the year. In the same year, he had also topped the Test rankings, becoming only the sixth Indian at that time to do so.
In his ODI career – from 2003 to 2013 – Gambhir accumulated 5238 runs at 39.68, with 11 tons and 34 half-centuries, including one of his most important knocks in the 50-over format – 97 off 122 deliveries – which came in the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka. His highest ODI score also came against Sri Lanka – an unbeaten 150 in Kolkata in 2009 and 150 earlier in year in Colombo. Gambhir was also one among three Indians named in the ICC ODI team of the year in 2012.
Gambhir also played 37 T20Is for India from 2007-2012, scoring 932 runs at 27.41 and a strike rate of 119.02, and was part of the MS Dhoni-led squad that lifted the inaugural World T20 title. His T20I best came against Pakistan in the final of the World T20 in 2007 – a 54-ball 75 – and he finished the tournament as the second highest run-getter.
On a day when the Delhi Daredevils IPL team was renamed as Delhi Capitals, the team’s former captain, who had given up the leadership duties midway during IPL 2018 owing to poor form and a string of defeats for his team, announced his decision to pull down the curtains.
Gambhir finished his career as the fourth highest run-getter in the IPL, with 4217 runs in 152 innings at an average of 31, including 36 half-centuries. Starting his IPL career as part of the Delhi Daredevils team, Gambhir moved to Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011, and led the team to two title victories – in 2012 and 2014.
“At some stage, I would like to share the retired cricketers tag and would like to recycle myself to be useful for something else in cricket and beyond, let’s see,” said Gambhir, who said he was glad to finish his career with the same team where his cricketing journey of close to two decades started.
“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 the Feroz Shah Kotla. I am big one on loyalty and I am glad 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 time is just right and I am sure it’s sweet as well. Goodbye and good luck,” Gambhir concluded.