Gautam Gambhir’s announcement of his retirement from all forms of cricket on Tuesday, 4 December, left several of his supporters emotional. Not just that, many of his former teammates and opponents on the field also conveyed their heartfelt tributes to the left-handed batsman.
Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Harbhajan Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin, among others and even Shah Rukh Khan took to Twitter to reminisce their memories with ‘Gauti’ and sent their good wishes to him for his future.
But it was commentator Harsha Bhogle’s tribute for him that summed up some of the finest moments of his career in a few words. The former congratulated the cricketer for the ‘wonderful career’, one the former felt he can be ‘genuinely proud of.’
He then praised the ex-Indian captain for his important role in ‘two of the biggest moments in Indian cricket.’ The commentator was obviously referring to the two World Cups Gautam won as a player, and was the top-scorer in the finals of both the tournaments. His 97 off 122 deliveries in the 2011 World Cup and a 75 off 55 balls in the World T20 final in 2007 are fresh in fans’ minds even today.
Harsha also lauded the Delhi batsman for being among the best in Test cricket at his peak. The cricketer’s fiery destructive opening partnership with Virender Sehwag particularly stood out. His knocks like the match-saving 137 against New Zealand in Napier in 2009 were among his best. Gautam was even honoured with the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year title in 2009, also reaching the No 1 in the ICC batsmen rankings that year. The 37-year-old was also a member of the Indian team that reached the pinnacle of the rankings.
The commentator concluded by saying Gautam will have a page in the IPL. His contribution in winning two IPL trophies for Kolkata Knight Riders as a captain was immense. Gautam is also the fourth-highest run-getter in the tournament, only behind Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Gautam had revealed that the upcoming Ranji Trophy encounter against Andhra Pradesh at his home ground Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi will be his last match as a cricketer. In an emotional Facebook video, he shared his memories and struggles in his career and opened up on the future.
Gautam signed off with 4154 runs at an average of 41.95 with nine hundreds and 22 fifties in Tests and in ODIs, 5238 runs at an average of 39.68 in with 11 hundreds and 34 fifties.