(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir is set to retire from all cricket, calling time on a career that began in 1999-2000, and has lasted almost two decades.
His last match will be Delhi’s Ranji Trophy match against Andhra at his home ground, Feroz Shah Kotla, beginning on December 6.
Gambhir announced his retirement through a video on social media. He admitted he had been “contemplating” and “dreading” quitting the game, but the “negative noises” were only increasing everyday, eventually forcing him to take the call. “It slapped me hard when I got those three ducks in a row in the 2014 IPL,” Gamhir said. “Then again when I had a dreadful tour to England the same year. In 2016 I was on my knees again. I was dropped after Rajkot Test match against England. I was searching for my confidence in that deep, dark pit but I could only lay my hands on the same sharp, disturbing noise. It said the same: ‘IT IS OVER GAUTI’.”
Gambhir’s last appearance for India came in the first Test of the home series against England in late 2016. Overall, Gambhir, 37, played 58 Tests, scoring 4154 runs at an average of 41.95, including nine centuries and 22 fifties. He played 147 ODIs, scoring 5238 runs at an average of 39.68 and a strike-rate of 85.25. Gambhir also played 37 T20Is, scoring 932 runs at a strike-rate of 119.02.
Gambhir was part of two World Cup triumphs for India, top-scoring in both finals. He made 75 in the 2007 World T20 final, when India beat Pakistan by five runs. In the 2011 World Cup final, batting at No.3, he scored 97 to revive India after Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar had fallen early. MS Dhoni sealed the title with a six while his batting partner Yuvraj Singh finished as Player of the Tournament, but India might not have crossed the finish line without Gambhir’s steely presence in the top order.