Cricketer Gautam Gambhir was sold to Delhi Daredevils for a mere sum of Rs 2.8 crore on Saturday at the two-day Indian Premier League (IPL) auction 2018 in Bengaluru.
As chatter of why Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) didn’t opt to use the Right-To-Match (RTM) card to retain him grew louder, the KKR management clarified that it was Gambhir who had asked them to not bid for him in the IPL auction.
In a video message posted on KKR’s official Twitter account, KKR Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) Venky Mysore cleared the air and said, "He was very much in our plans for the auctions via RTM. But he had a conversation with us well before. He felt that there might be a different challenge before (him), we don't know what it was. And (he) requested if we would refrain from bidding from him or using Right To Match. And we said we will never come in the way of anyone's progress or anyone's aspirations... We're sorry to see him go, seven great years.”
Gautam Gambhir has led KKR to two IPL title wins.
Here's what Gambhir has to say on moving to Delhi Daredevils:
Recently, in an interview to PTI, the firebrand opener had said that he is now ready to act as an "elder statesman" for any franchise that he turns up for.
"Back in 2011, I remember it was January and the only worry I had was whether I will be picked for the 50-over World Cup later that year or not. It was only on the day of the auction, I had a few butterflies in my tummy. Now, seven years later, I have a broader view to life and cricket," Gambhir told PTI before the auction.
"I am at a stage of my career where I want to be a senior statesman, a mentor to the younger cricketers. Whether that happens in KKR, Sunrisers, Delhi, Mumbai, I am absolutely fine with it," Gambhir had said.
KKR has been a huge "emotional investment" for the World Cup winner and he admitted that it would be difficult if he doesn't wear the purple jersey again.
"Yes it will be, it will be tough as KKR gave a platform to express myself as a batsman, a leader, as a human. But at the end of the day I respect the call KKR has taken, they have some solid reasons behind the move which they have explained and I am fine with them.”
"There are no hard feelings at all, may be there are fresh challenges waiting for me. I will be glad to accept them and turn things around. Lets see what happens," he had said.
(With PTI inputs)