Gautam Gambhir retired from all forms of cricket back in December 2018 after representing Delhi in one of the matches in the Ranji Trophy at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Albeit he wasn’t a regular member of the national team in the last few years, he would still be remembered as someone, who played two match-winning knocks in the final of the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup.
However, the retirement could’ve come way back in 2007. The southpaw made his ODI debut back in 2003, but couldn’t make the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. The Delhi-born was around 25 years old at that time and the rejection got to him, so much so that he wished to bid adieu to the sport.
One should never give up, believes Gautam Gambhir
“In 2007, when I missed the 50-over World Cup, that was the lowest moment in my cricketing career. I had given up on cricket. Before that, I had missed both U-14 and U-19 World Cups. In 2007 I thought I was the closest to play the World Cup, but when they did not include me in the squad, I had given up on cricket,” Gambhir was quoted as saying in India Today.
Just when Gambhir felt down and out, he was in for a surprise. The left-hander was picked in the Indian squad for the 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa. He didn’t make a great start and got out for a duck to Mohammad Asif in the first match against Pakistan at the Kingsmead in Durban.
But the rub of the green went his way and he ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer. India defeated Pakistan in the final at the Wanderers in Johannesburg and Gambhir churned out a masterful 75 off 54, though he didn’t get the Man of the Match.
“Then I was chosen in Twenty-20 World Cup in 2007 and I got dismissed for a duck in the first match against Pakistan. But as fate has it, I finished as the leading run-scorer in the World Cup and we ended up winning the tournament so one should never give up,” the veteran added.
From thereon, Gambhir didn’t look back and made a name for himself in all three formats. With 20 centuries and 63 half-centuries, Gautam was one of the most reliable batters at the top of the order. He was once also the ICC’s number one Test batsman back in 2009.
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