Kolkata Knight Riders’ owner Shah Rukh Khan pens down thoughtful message for his former captain Gautam Gambhir

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The former Indian left-handed opener and winner of both T20I and ODI World Cups and captained Khan’s side to IPL glory in 2012 and 2014, decided to put a full-stop on his career, yesterday.

Shah Rukh Khan with Gautam Gambhir during the latter’s stint with the club

With former India opener Gautam Gambhir announcing his retirement on Tuesday, Bollywood superstar and Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan took to social media to not only congratulate the former KKR skipper on an amazing journey on the cricket field, but also called him a special man. But the superstar had a word of advice for the man who took KKR to two titles in the cash-rich T20 league.

Taking to Twitter, SRK wrote: “@GautamGambhir Thank u for the love & leadership my Captain.U r a special man and may Allah always keep & happy…& u should smile a bit more.”

Gambhir called time on a career that began in 1999-2000, and has lasted almost two decades. He played for India back in 2016 against England. He 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.

The left-hander posted an emotional video where he spoke about his career, the struggles and the final decision to give up playing after the upcoming game against Andhra in the Ranji Trophy.

In an emotional letter, Gambhir wrote: “A big thanks to all of you for sparing time. Well, I am here to share a thought which I have been contemplating and I dare say dreading. The thought has been with me day and night. It has travelled with me on flights like an irritable excess baggage. It has accompanied me to practice sessions mocking like a menacing bowler. On certain other days it has made my dinner taste horrible.”

“So, here I am, after more than 15 years of cricket for my country I want to retire from playing this beautiful game. Despite all the aches and pains; fears and failures I won’t mind a repeat of this in my next life too. But obviously with a few more wins for India, a few more hundreds and in the next life may be a few 5-wicket hauls as well.”

Gautam Gambhir was a crucial performer in both the 2007 World T20I finals and the 2011 ODI World Cup finals, scoring 75 and 97 respectively and fuelling the cause for India’s win in both occasions. His innings at the ODI World Cup is an utmost memorable one, complete with the mud-patch on his shirt as a result of excessive diving while sneaking singles. The mental image of him with that brown blotch at the center of his shirt, will forever remain imprinted on the hearts of Indian fans the world over.

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