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Gambhir back in IPL as Lucknow franchise's team mentor

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
Last updated on: December 18, 2021 22:58 IST
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IMAGE: Gautam Gambhir, who is also a member of parliament, had captained Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles. Photograph: BCCI

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was on Saturday appointed mentor of the new Lucknow franchise ahead of IPL 2022.

 

The southpaw, who is also a member of parliament, had captained Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles.

"Thanks a lot to Dr Goenka and the RPSG Group for presenting me this wonderful opportunity in their setup.

"The fire to win a contest still burns bright inside me, the desire to leave a winner's legacy still kicks me 24x7. I will not be contesting for a dressing room but for the spirit and soul of Uttar Pradesh," Gambhir said in a statement.

Owner of the yet to be named Lucknow franchise, Sanjiv Goenka welcomed Gambhir into the RPSG family.

"Gautam has an impeccable career record. I respect his cricketing mind and look forward to working with him," he said.

The 40-year-old played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is for India.

Gambhir, who has also captained Delhi Capitals (erstwhile Daredevils), has been in talks with Goenka for sometime and it is expected that he will play a massive role at the IPL players' auction.

Andy Flower has been primarily roped in because he has already worked with the Lucknow franchise's captain-in-waiting KL Rahul, who is expected to be picked at the draft where the new teams will get three choices -- two Indians and one foreign player.

Gambhir was considered one of the finest among IPL captains during his time at the KKR, who won the silverware in 2012 and 2014.

However, once KKR released him and he returned to Delhi where he had started in 2008, things didn't pan out as he would have thought and midway into the league, had to relinquish captaincy to Shreyas Iyer and also dropped himself from the team due to his below-par batting form.

But no one can deny Gambhir's shrewd tactical brain and it is widely believed that even before the deal was inked, he had been giving valuable inputs to Goenka's core recruitment team on squad composition.

While the management is sure to depend on Flower on the overseas recruits, Gambhir will certainly be in charge when it comes to picking the core Indian set-up.

While former Test opener Aakash Chopra, on Twitter, has literally announced Rashid Khan as their overseas recruit, some of the other names that they are looking at includes Ben Sokes, Marcus Stoinis and Kagiso Rabada.

Rahul looks a certainty if both parties agree on a final price unless the soon-to-be India white ball vice-captain wants to go in at the auction, where he would likely fetch an astronomical bid, perhaps the highest in the history of IPL.

The second Indian player could be Ishan Kishan because of his multiple skill level (keeping and batting), but the likes of last year's Purple Cap winner Harshal Patel or leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who are very successful shortest format players can't be ruled out either.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

IPL 2022

IPL 2022