Shah Rukh Khan's 'same team for rest of our lives' wish adds fresh obstacle to Gautam Gambhir's India head coach road | Crickit
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Shah Rukh Khan's 'same team for rest of our lives' wish adds fresh obstacle to Gautam Gambhir's India head coach road

May 28, 2024 04:37 PM IST

Reading between the lines, Shah Rukh Khan may be unwilling to let Gautam Gambhir go as KKR's mentor after their title-winning run in IPL 2024.

Gautam Gambhir and the BCCI have not yet reached a consensus about the Team India head coach role. BCCI secretary Jay Shah was spotted having a lengthy discussion with the Kolkata Knight Riders mentor after KKR won the IPL 2024 final, but a decision has yet to be made. It is believed that KKR owner Shah Rukh Khan holds the key in this discussion.

Shah Rukh Khan with Gautam Gambhir
Shah Rukh Khan with Gautam Gambhir

Gambhir and SRK go back a long way. Gambhir was KKR's captain for seven straight seasons and the only man to have an active role in all three of KKR's IPL victories. He was captain in 2012 and 2014 and is now the team's mentor, ending a decade-long wait for an IPL title.

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The camaraderie between the Bollywood actor and the former India opener is no secret to anyone. Therefore, Gambhir's next move will depend on his discussions with Shah Rukh. In a recent video released by KKR, Shah Rukh was seen wishing to keep the same team intact for the upcoming seasons. While it may not possible for the players, it certainly is for the support staff.

Reading between the lines could mean that Shah Rukh is unwilling to let Gambhir go. "Wherever we go from here onwards, I wish you the best.I speak on behalf of Juhi, Jay, Jahnvi, Suhana. We wish we had the same team for the rest of our lives and you kept listening to my speeches and playing like this," Shah Rukh said.

He also thanked Gambhir for his contributions. "I just have one request, which is my special thanks to GG. I have not thanked him specially."

Shah Rukh Khan's speech in KKR dressing room

Gambhir, along with support staff members such as head coach Chandrakant Pandit, assistant coach Abhishek Nayar, and bowling coach Bharat Arun, played a big role in KKRR's title-winning run.

The likes of Andre Russell and Harshit Rana found it tough to describe the feeling of being IPL champions, even as they praised Nayar.

KKR crushed Hyderabad by eight wickets in a completely one-sided final after bowling out their opponents for 113, the lowest ever total in an IPL title clash. This was KKR's third IPL title.

"I cannot tell how happy I am," Harshit, who picked up two wickets in the final, said after the triumph.

Even the seasoned Russell was lost for words as he tried to hold back his tears.

"No words to describe. It means so much. I am happy that all of us were very disciplined and worked towards one goal. This franchise has done a lot for me. It's a big gift from all of us to them," Russell said.

Varun Chakravarathy, who has had a successful season with his spin bowling, lauded Nayar's contributions.

"All I can think right now is of the person who built this Indian core: Abhishek Nayar. 'Please come here'," he said, asking the former Mumbai batter to join them.

Venkatesh Iyer, who remained not out on 52 off 26 balls in an easy chase of 114, also mentioned Nayar's role in the team's success.

"Really happy with it. As Varun mentioned, Abhishek Nayar deserves all the credit in the world. Some contributions go unnoticed, I want to make sure they don't. This guy deserves all the credit in the world for the way he has been working for this franchise.

"This win is for the fans who turned up year after year and waited for 10 years," Venkatesh said.

Having lost the toss, KKR produced a clinical effort with the ball to dismiss SRH for 113, the lowest ever total in an IPL title clash.

KKR chased down the target of 114 with as many as 57 balls to spare, even as team mentor Gautam Gambhir and head coach Chandrakant Pandit watched the action unfolding in the middle from the dugout.

"I want to share one short story that when GG bhaiya was named the mentor. I sent him a long message as I was really happy. But he replied saying, 'Thank you but I would be happy if we stand at the podium with the trophy in our hands'.

"Today is that day and I will never forget that message," said Nitish Rana.

Seamer Vaibhav Arora, who bowled a beautiful delivery to dismiss the dangerous Travis Head, said, "My role is to take wickets with the new ball. After that the spinners were doing their jobs. So, today also the aim was to take wickets in the powerplay, which happened as well."

Rinku Singh said, "My dream of seven years is complete. Finally I will lift the trophy. I am proud of my whole team and GG sir. It was God's plan."

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