As the IPL 2024 auction approaches, with reports suggesting a pool of over 1,100 players, excitement is brewing over the team compositions.
The 10 franchises have disclosed their retention lists, and among the noteworthy moves is Hardik Pandya's return to the Mumbai Indians from the Gujarat Titans.
Another headline-grabbing development is Gautam Gambhir's transition back to the Kolkata Knight Riders, this time in the role of a 'mentor.'
Gambhir, previously the mentor for Lucknow Super Giants in the last two seasons, steered LSG to a third-place finish in both 2022 and 2023. Despite making playoff appearances, LSG faced eliminations against the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians in those respective seasons.
The 2012 IPL-winning captain with KKR has now reconnected with the franchise, taking on the role of mentor. Chandrakant Pandit is the KKR coach; Abhishek Nayar is the assistant coach.
During his initial stint with KKR from 2011 to 2017, Gambhir played a crucial role in the team's success. This period is hailed as the golden era for KKR, clinching two IPL titles, qualifying for the playoffs five times, and reaching the finals of the Champions League T20 in 2014.
Responding to a fan's inquiry about his excitement for the IPL, KKR Co-owner Shah Rukh Khan -- whom Gambhir met in September -- expressed his enthusiasm, particularly highlighting Gambhir's return.
'Absolutely with our champ who is back where he belongs...'