“I don’t want players thinking of playing for India”: Gautam Gambhir opens up on KL Rahul’s role as Lucknow Super Giants captain in IPL 2022

Gurpreet Singh
|Published January 24, 2022

Gautam Gambhir opens up on KL Rahul’s role as skipper of the Lucknow SuperGiants in the upcoming 15th season of the IPL.

With the upcoming 15th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) set to be a 10-team affair, the Lucknow-based franchise has finally announced ‘Lucknow Super Giants’ as the team’s name for its debut season.

Sanjiv Goenka, owner of the the Lucknow Super Giants, announced the team’s name after it being the highest recommended one by the fans during a contest undertaken by the Lucknow team’s Twitter handle.

Goenka had disclosed the name during his conversation with veteran journalist Boria Majumdar, in his show ‘Backstage with Boria’, wherein he was also joined by the team’s newly inducted mentor Gautam Gambhir, and skipper KL Rahul.

During the interaction, Gambhir opened up on the ways he captained the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) during his playing days for the franchise, and was of the view that he never advised his players to play with the aim of making it to the Indian team.

Gautam Gambhir opens up on KL Rahul’s role

When asked by Majumdar on his philosophy of leadership, and how is leading an IPL side different from leading an Indian team side, Gambhir opined that he would always tell his players to play only for the franchise, and not with the aim of playing for India.

“It is very different. When I was captain, I’ve always said in those seven years that I don’t want players thinking of playing for India; I want players thinking of playing for the franchise. Playing for India is just the by-product. If you think of playing for India, and you start saying that Lucknow gives me that platform to play for India, then you’re being dishonest to the franchise.

“But if you want to play for Lucknow, and deliver it for Lucknow, eventually you’ll end up playing for India. So, I would probably in those two months not want any of the players saying or thinking that my job or my ultimate aim is to play for India. Their ultimate aim for those two months is to win for the franchise,” Gambhir exclaimed.

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/BoriaMajumdar/status/1485613135277223942?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Gambhir led Kolkata Knight Riders in 107 consecutive T20 matches from 2011-2017. He also has won the IPL twice as KKR captain in 2012 and 2014.

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Gurpreet Singh

Gurpreet Singh

Even before persuing his post-graduate diploma in English journalism from IIMC, Gurpreet was certain that Cricket had to be the driving force to keep him sane and optimistic in all life-related matters. Hailing from Ranchi and having represented Jharkhand at the Under-14 level, he believes that the more you keep digging in while understanding the nitty-gritty of a sport, the more humble you become with the realisation that you hardly know anything!

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