Gautam Gambhir's 'serious' message to KKR, says IPL not about Bollywood | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Gautam Gambhir's 'serious' message to KKR ahead of 2024 season: 'IPL isn't about Bollywood and after party...'

Mar 04, 2024 03:00 PM IST

Gautam Gambhir made a statement that the players should not focus on the off-field activities but look to find the ways to help the team bag another title.

Kolkata Knight Riders mentor Gautam Gambhir has 'serious' advice for his players ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League. Gambhir, who led KKR to two titles during his tenure as captain, said that IPL is not about Bollywood or other glamour attached to it but an opportunity for players to express themselves in the toughest league in the world.

Gautam Gambhir will return to KKR in IPL 2024 as mentor
Gautam Gambhir will return to KKR in IPL 2024 as mentor

KKR, who won their last IPL title way back in 2014, signed Gambhir as their mentor as the veteran Indian opener left Lucknow Super Giants after spending two years with them for a homecoming in Kolkata. He was present with other members of KKR at the IPL 2024 players' auction where the franchise splurged a record-breaking INR 24.75 crore to sign Mitchell Starc.

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"I made it very clear on Day 1 that IPL for me, a serious cricket. It's not about Bollywood, it's not about you, it's not about after party and stuff. It's about going out there and playing competitive cricket and that's the reason why I feel is the toughest league in the world because it is proper cricket," Gambhir said on Star Sports.

The veteran batter pointed out the significance of the Indian Premier League on the world stage.

"It is probably closest to international cricket as compared to any other league and if you want to be known as a successful franchise, you should be able to deliver on the cricket field," he added.

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KKR are only the third franchise after Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians to win multiple IPL titles. However, things have not worked out well for them in the last couple of seasons where they finished seventh spot and failed to reach the playoffs.

Gambhir also talked about the loyal fanbase of Kolkata which has backed the team during their tough times.

"I think there are very passionate fans. We need to be honest to them. We need to try and probably bring that happiness on their smiles because I've always believed I think the most loyal fans have been fans from Kolkata because they've gone through a lot in the first three years of the IPL," Gambhir said.

The two-time IPL-winning captain further made a statement that the players should not focus on the off-field activities but look to find the ways to help the team bag another title.

"Obviously it was the most high profile team as well. But I've always been a believer that ultimately it's not about glamour. It's about what we do on the cricket fields is all that matters and KKR should not be known for off field activities. They should be known for what we deliver on the cricket field," concluded the KKR mentor.

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