'Playing for India is the byproduct': Mentor Gautam Gambhir wants players to be 'honest' to Lucknow Super Giants
After signing off from cricket as a player, former India opener Gautam Gambhir is ready to grace the field once again but in a new role. In the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the ex-cricketer will be seen mentoring new franchise Lucknow Super Giants, with KL Rahul leading the unit.
Sharing his thoughts on what he expects from the players who'll be part of the franchise, Gambhir stated that he demands nothing less than absolute commitment.
The former India cricketer while speaking on 'Backstage with Boria' stated: "When I’ve captained, I have always said I don’t want players thinking of playing for India. I want players thinking of playing for the franchise. Playing for India is just the byproduct."
“If you think of playing for India and you start saying that Lucknow gives me that platform to play for India, then you are being dishonest to the franchise. But if you were to play for Lucknow and deliver it for Lucknow, eventually you will end up playing for India,” he added.
Gambhir also shared a piece of advice for the budding Indian cricketers, who are under the assumption that IPL is a platform to play for the country. He stated the lucrative T20 league is a platform to showcase the talent to the world instead.
"So probably in those two months, I would not want any of the players saying or thinking that my job or my ultimate aim is to play for India. Their ultimate aim for those two months is to win the tournament for the franchise. And if they look to do that with their performances, they will eventually go on to play for India."
"And IPL is not a platform to go on to play for India. IPL is a platform to showcase your talent to the world, and that is how players should think about it," Gambhir added.
Meanwhile, apart from Rahul, Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis and uncapped Indian spinner Ravi Bishnoi are part of the franchise.