Gautam Gambhir’s tryst with Kolkata Knight Riders will be coming to an end tomorrow, when the IPL teams submit their ‘Player Retention List’ to the governing body at 6:30pm IST tomorrow.
After Sourav Ganguly was released by KKR, the team management chose Gautam Gambhir as their leader, someone whom they could build their team around.
Gambhir repaid the faith that the owner’s had put in him by delivering two titles in 2012 and 2014.
Gambhir’s agressive captaincy and shrewd decision making made him one of the most exciting captains to watch in the IPL. But with age catching up and him not being involved in the International circuit for a long time, the owners feel that retaining Gambhir won’t be wise considering the future of the franchise.
The Knight Riders will be looking to first zero in on a captain, who could lead the team for the next 3-4 years, a strategy that they had resorted to after Dada’s departure.
KKR though still believe that Gambhir could be useful to them and thus will be opting for him if he can be attained at a suitable price in the auction, with the help of the ‘Right to match’ card.
“Gautam (Gambhir) has been a key constituent of KKR’s IPL success. Not retaining him is a strategic move. This does not mean KKR is not interested in its most respected team member. We always have an option to bid for him in the auction. We have the privilege of right to match. So it will not be fair to say that he is out of our future plans.” a source confirmed to insidesport.co.
“Gautam (Gambhir) is aware of our plans” the source added.
KKR’s owners have once shown us that they don’t let emotions come in the way of strategic decisions(when they released Dada) and are opting for a similar path this time round as well.
While Gambhir has been brilliant for KKR in the past few seasons, but keeping the future in mind, and the money at stake, releasing him seems like a good decision.