Gautam Gambhir Says He Paid The Price For Pointing Out "Ridiculous" Things In System
Gautam Gambhir scored 4,154 runs in 58 Tests, 5,238 in 147 ODIs and 932 in 37 T20 International matches for India.
Gautam Gambhir scored a hundred in his farewell match against Andhra Pradesh in the Ranji Trophy on Saturday. The memorable century came just a day before the conclusion of the match and his illustrious cricket career. The left-handed opener scored 4,154 runs in 58 Tests, 5,238 in 147 ODIs and 932 in 37 T20 International matches for India. Despite having contributed in India's triumph in the finals of 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup and winning matches single-handedly on numerous occasions, Gautam Gambhir feels he had an "unfulfilled career". The Delhi batsman added that he had to pay the price for expressing his opinions upfront.
"Look, I am not being holier than thou but some of the things that go on in our system are absolutely ridiculous. I was vocal about them and I paid the price by having an unfulfilled career," Gambhir said.
Gambhir has always been a non-conformist but he has had no regrets even if it meant a "lot of enemies" because he could "sleep peacefully at night".
One of the most gutsy cricketers that the country has ever produced, Gambhir feels that the Indian society in general does not warm up to people who are forthright in their views.
"It's not only about cricketing system, in general our society doesn't like to be shown the mirror. We like to maintain the status quo and not look at the reality. I get suffocated by all this," Gambhir, who is set to retire from competitive cricket after Sunday said.
Whether it's selectors or DDCA administration, Gambhir stood for whatever he felt right especially if those were cricketing issues.
"I can't tolerate wrong things and artificiality. A lot of people around me say that I could have been diplomatic but that is simply not me. Yes, I made many enemies but I slept in peace," said Gambhir on the penultimate day of his competitive career.
He had an ugly altercation with KP Bhaskar in 2017 when he alleged that the former coach was trying to destroy career of junior players, had arguments with Chetan Chauhan over a rookie bowler called Navdeep Saini, who he thought was cut out for higher level.
Not to forget when he was mad at a state selector, who wanted to get a below par club cricketer in the Delhi Ranji side after the team had won three straight Ranji games.
Did he never get scared that taking on establishment at every step could have affected his career?
For someone, who has always been high on emotional quotient, Gambhir did let his guard down for once.
"It did affect me. I am human after all but then like I said, I could not have let the unfair (practices) prevail.
So is Gautam Gambhir a misunderstood man? He replied: "Misunderstood a lot of times. For example, if I said, a captain is as good as his team, media and critics thought I was taking a dig at MS Dhoni.
"These critics would conveniently ignore when I repeated the statement when I was leading KKR or Delhi Ranji team. All these misunderstandings played a negative part in my career," he admitted.
There have been talks that Gambhir will make for a tough no-nonsense BCCI administrator but the left-hander doesn't want to entertain those thoughts at the moment.
"It is too early to say. I want to bring about a change but at what platform it is still undecided. Lets see what happens."
(With PTI inputs)