Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs. 2.80 crore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction held in Bengaluru over the weekend, ending his seven-year stay with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Many were left surprised with Kolkata's decision of not retaining or bidding for him, but KKR's CEO Venky Mysore cleared the air by saying that the left-handed batsman had himself requested the management not to bid for him. In a video posted by KKR on Twitter, the CEO said, "He was very much in our plans for the auctions, 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 for 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."
Gambhir, who had a base price of Rs 2 crore, was KKR's leading run-getter with 3345 in 122 matches. After Gambhir's move got confirmed, he posted a heartfelt message for his fans on Twitter.
Delhi Daredevils are confident about Gambhir's leadership qualities and will ask the veteran batsman to captain the side in the upcoming IPL, coach Ricky Ponting said. "We had a fair bit of thought into that. It is likely now that Gambhir will lead the team next season. We had conversation with him. He has conveyed to us that he would like to make a comeback to his home Delhi and hopefully lead the team," Ponting said after the auction.
"And if you look at his leadership, we did not find any fault when captaining KKR. His last season of IPL also has also been very good. So we thought it would be good to have him as captain working with some of the young Indian players. So, we have gone for an experienced captain and I am sure he will do the job for us," the Australian great added.