India’s Gambhir to retire from cricket at 37

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NEW DELHI, Dec 4, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Indian opener and World Cup hero Gautam
Gambhir on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket,
finally heeding voices that were telling him “it’s over”.

Gambhir, who played a key role in two of India’s World Cup triumphs, will
play his final domestic Ranji Trophy game for his home team Delhi starting
Thursday.

The 37-year-old Gambhir, an attacking yet compact left-handed batsman,
accumulated 4154 runs in 58 Test matches since making his debut in 2004
against Australia.

He also represented India in 147 one-day internationals and 37 Twenty20
matches.

But Gambhir, who formed a successful opening pair with Virender Sehwag
until 2012, started to lose favour with the selectors and last played a Test
against England in 2016.

“The thought has been with me day and night…it has accompanied me to
practice sessions, mocking at me like a menacing bowler,” Gambhir said in a
video message on social media.

“Each time I got out playing for India, or KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) or
Delhi Daredevils, this thought would turn into a sharp disturbing noise and
walk with me all the way to the dressing room shouting that ‘it is over
Gauti’,” he added.

Gambhir was part of India’s 2007 win at the inaugural World T20 and played
a pivotal role in the team’s 50-over World Cup triumph in 2011.

The Delhi native, who was part of the Indian team that rose to the number
one Test spot in 2009, led Indian Premier League (IPL) side Knight Riders to
two titles in 2012 and 2014.

“This may sound a little wishful but I’ve seen wishes come true. Two World
Cups, highest run-getter in the final of both of these games is the stuff
dreams are made of,” Gambhir said.

“Somewhere on the top is being the No. 1 Test team in the world. A trophy,
I’ll look at very fondly, is the one I got for being awarded the ICC best
Test batsman of the year in 2009. For a purist like me, it is a reward for
somewhat knowing where my off stump was.

“The historic series win in NZ (New Zealand) and the CB series in Australia
will be reflected upon fondly. But I do hope the current Indian team Down
Under can overshadow our feats.”

Gambhir went on to thank his coaches, teammates and family members for
standing by him and said his most meaningful partnership was with the
supporters of Indian cricket.

He recently turned to commentary, sharing the mike with legends of Indian
and Australian cricket during India’s three T20 matches in Australia.