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“That Is Just Luck”: Gautam Gambhir, Who Doesn’t Believe In Luck, Blamed It For $2,400,000 IPL 2011 Salary

Rishikesh Sharma

"That Is Just Luck": Gautam Gambhir, Who Doesn't Believe In Luck, Blamed It For $2,400,000 IPL 2011 Salary

Former Indian batter Gautam Gambhir, who always maintained feeling pressurized by a hefty Indian Premier League price tag, believed it was sheer luck that he became the most expensive player in an auction before the fourth season. Having represented Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) between for three seasons including leading them in 2010, Gambhir was sold to Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping $2.4 million before IPL 2011.

Despite the price tag, Gambhir, however, emphasized multiple times how, as a player, his sole motive was to perform for the team. Not letting money affect his on-field performance, he has been one of the rare players to have addressed the impact an opulent pay cheque can have on an athlete.

“Oh, come on! That is just luck! Money has a certain role in my life but it cannot dictate how I approach my cricket or life. The price tag of 11 crores is a good media story, for cricketers we still have to go out and perform whatever the size of the purse,” Gambhir had told Hindustan Times before ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

One of the highest earners across the first 11 seasons of the cash-rich league, Gambhir had accumulated in vicinity of INR 100 crore as a player. While KKR decided to retain him for INR 12.50 crore before IPL 2014, Capitals bought him for INR 2.8 crore in one of the biggest IPL homecomings. Interestingly, due to a poor IPL 2018, he eventually returned the money to the franchise.

Gambhir’s second innings in the IPL started in the 15th season when he was appointed as the mentor of Lucknow Super Giants. In 2023, he was elevated to the position of global mentor with the Super Giants also expanding their arms to other leagues around the world. No longer part of the franchise, he used to earn INR 3.5 crore per season in that capacity.

Come IPL 2024, Gambhir will be witnessed in a dugout which won two IPL titles under him. Appointed KKR’s mentor for the upcoming 17th season, one expects Gambhir to have agreed to the role after being offered a financial increment with regard to his salary at LSG.

Gautam Gambhir Wasn’t A Fan Of Luck Or Lucky Mascot

Reinstated as India’s vice-captain for ICC World Twenty20 2012 after being replaced by Virat Kohli earlier in the year, Gautam Gambhir was answering reporters when asked about spinner Piyush Chawla‘s presence in the squad as a third Indian spinner behind Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh.

Part of India’s ICC World Twenty20 2007 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 champion squads, Chawla used to be classified as a “lucky mascot”. While he didn’t play any match in 2007, he was handed three outings in the world event held at home four years later. However, Gambhir refused to call “luck” as a factor in winning games.

“I have never believed in luck and lucky mascots. For me, there is only one thing that can ensure you success at the highest level — that is called hard work. I will always remain a firm believer that there can’t be any substitute for sheer hard work,” Gambhir had said as quoted by The Indian Express.

Not part of the Indian ICC World Twenty20 2009 squad, Chawla was with the team in West Indies the following year. Interestingly, Chawla’s T20I journey is one of a kind. Having made his T20I debut during ICC World Twenty20 2010, he didn’t play a match in the format till the next edition of the tournament in 2012.

With India playing just 11 T20Is between the two World Cups, Ashwin was their mainstay. Even Harbhajan hadn’t played any T20I for around 15 months before being handed a recall for 2012 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

If truth be told, Chawla’s IPL 2012 performance for Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) could’ve played a major role in earning a national comeback. His 16 wickets had come at an economy and strike rate of 7.35 and 21.37 respectively. Gambhir, who defended Chawla, later benefited from his batting when he hit the winning runs for the Knight Riders in IPL 2014 final against Punjab.

About the author

Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma


An engineering graduate and an ardent sports fan, Rishikesh Sharma is covering cricket for three years now after not making peace with a corporate life and has written more than 5000 articles. While Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the sport, Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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