Gautam Gambhir’s stepping down will be a tough act to follow
Gambhir’s decision is exceptional for another reason. According to the Press Trust of India, he may decide to forego his salary worth Rs 2.8 crore for the 2018 IPL seasonUpdated: Apr 26, 2018 18:02 IST
Cricket captains who happen to be Indian rarely step down on the back of a run of poor form from him or his team. After leading the Kolkata Knight Riders to victory in the Indian Premier League in 2012 and 2014, former Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday quit as captain of Delhi Daredevils citing non-performance and the team’s dismal run, in which they’ve suffered their fifth loss in six games this season. “I haven’t contributed enough to the team. As a leader of this ship, I take complete responsibility for where we are in the points table and I’ve decided to step down,” he said.
Daredevils coach Ricky Ponting says Gambhir deserves credit for the decision. “Taking a call like this isn’t heard of in India...I did the same thing when I was a player for Mumbai Indians.” Before Ponting in 2013 and Gambhir this year, seven other IPL skippers have relinquished captaincy mid-season.
Free from the rigours of captaincy, playing under Shreyas Iyer, will Gambhir return to the form that made him the IPL’s fourth-highest run-getter with 4,217 runs from 152 innings? For now, he is struggling, particularly against quick bowlers.
Gambhir’s decision is exceptional for another reason. According to the Press Trust of India, he may decide to forego his salary worth Rs 2.8 crore for the rest of the 2018 IPL season. Doing it in the middle of a league perceived as the preferred destination of global T20 mercenaries is rare. It reminds you of chief executives such as Hewlett Packard’s Meg Whitman, Google’s Larry Page, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and closer home, Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy, who decided to eschew their hefty pay packets in their desperation to steer their companies out of business slowdowns. Pulling Delhi out of the hole they’ve dug themselves in – at the bottom of the points table – may require more than a leadership change and a salary debit. But as a leader, Gambhir has set high standards for the next incumbent and other captains.