Veteran opener Gautam Gambhir has made his intentions quite clear concerning his role in the next edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). Gambhir, who has led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL triumphs, wants to play the role of elder statesman for any franchise that he gets picked for. The much-awaited IPL auction is scheduled to be held in Bangalore on January 27 and 28.
It is pertinent to mention here that Gambhir wasn’t retained by the KKR management as they opted to secure the services for Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.
"Back in 2011, I remember it was January and the only worry I had was whether I will be picked for the 50-over World Cup later that year or not. It was only on the day of the auction, I had a few butterflies in my tummy. Now, seven years later, I have a broader view to life and cricket," Gambhir was quoted by PTI as saying.
"I am at a stage of my career where I want to be a senior statesman, a mentor to the younger cricketers. Whether that happens in KKR, Sunrisers, Delhi, Mumbai I am absolutely fine with it," the 36-year-old further added.
Gambhir, who has represented KKR in the last seven seasons, also confessed that it would be difficult for him not to don the purple jersey again.
"Yes it will be, it will be tough as KKR gave a platform to express myself as a batsman, a leader, as a human. But at the end of the day I respect the call KKR has taken, they have some solid reasons behind the move which they have explained and I am fine with them.
"Tere are no hard feelings at all, maybe there are fresh challenges waiting for me. I will be glad to accept them and turn things around. Let's see what happens," Gauti said.
Considering his captaincy exploits for KKR, Gambhir is widely deemed as the leader of the men. However, the Delhi born cricketer believes that a captain is as good as his team.
"A leader is as good as his team. So, in that case I was fortunate to have led KKR. My team is the real hero, I am not. Other than all this, I think it is upto the franchisees to think what I bring to the table. I am content with the fact that I have been a part of two teams that have won the IPL title," Gambhir opined.
Before playing for Kolkata Knight Riders, Gauti has played for Delhi Daredevils in the first three editions of IPL. When asked about the rumours of him being picked for his home franchise again, Gambhir said: "See, this is a hypothetical question, something which is not in my hands. There are a lot of variables which have to go right to have a wishful auction. I can only say that I am happy to play anywhere the auction lands me whether it is Delhi or any other franchisee.”
"At the end of the day, it is a simple game -- you can only control your bat in hand, thinking about the rest of the aspects can only add to your stress," he concluded.