“Can I bring my girlfriend to the IPL?’ Gautam Gambhir reveals Sunil Narine’s request back from IPL 2012

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The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a platform where cricket meets entertainment, and friendships are forged that transcend the boundaries of the cricket field. One such bond is between Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian cricketer and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) mentor, and Sunil Narine, the West Indies all-rounder.

Gautam Gambhir shares his first meeting with Sunil Narine

Gambhir revealed Narine’s quirky request for IPL 2012 when the star West Indies player asked if he could get his girlfriend to the tournament. The duo share a great camaraderie between themselves and are often regarded as 2 of the most ‘serious-looking’ members of the KKR team.

“Me and Narine are similar characters, and so are our emotions. I still remember that when Narine first came into the IPL in 2012, it was in Jaipur, and we were going for practice, and I told him to come join us for lunch. He was so shy that he did not say a single word during lunch, and the first question that he eventually asked was, ‘Can I bring my girlfriend to the IPL?,” Gambhir told Sportskeeda.

Narine’s entry into the IPL in 2012 was marked by his exceptional performance, contributing significantly to KKR’s title win that year. Gambhir, who was the captain of KKR at the time, played a pivotal role in Narine’s success. He gave Narine the freedom to express himself on the field, which boosted Narine’s confidence and performance.

Fast forward to IPL 2024, and the duo’s bond remains as strong as ever. After KKR’s title victory, Narine lifted Gambhir in a moment of joy, and Gambhir returned the gesture. This celebration was a testament to their enduring friendship and mutual respect.

Narine’s performance in IPL 2024 was outstanding. He scored 488 runs in 15 matches, including a 56-ball 109 against Rajasthan Royals. His stellar performance earned him the Most Valuable Player award, making him the first player to win this award thrice in the IPL. Narine credited Gambhir for his success, acknowledging that it was Gambhir’s idea to have him open the innings back in 2017.

Gambhir’s decision to have Narine open the innings proved to be a masterstroke. Narine’s aggressive batting at the top of the order provided KKR with the impetus they needed at the start of the innings. This strategy was instrumental in KKR’s dominance in IPL 2024.

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