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NEW DELHI: All set to take charge of Kolkata Knight Riders as mentor in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League, Gautam Gambhir has made it very clear to the team that the tournament is not about Bollywood and after parties and he means serious business on the field.
Gambhir said that IPL is ‘toughest league in the world’ and it is a brilliant opportunity for youngsters to prove themselves on the biggest stage.
The former India opener, who led KKR to two title triumphs in 2012 and 2014 as skipper, returns to the franchise after a two-year stint as the mentor of Lucknow Super Giants.
“I made it very clear on Day 1 that IPL for me, a serious cricket. It’s not about Bollywood, it’s not about you, it’s not about after party and stuff. It’s about going out there and playing competitive cricket and that’s the reason why I feel is the toughest league in the world because it is proper cricket,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.
“It is probably closest to international cricket as compared to any other league and if you want to be known as a successful franchise, you should be able to deliver on the cricket field,” he added.
“I think there are very passionate fans. We need to be honest to them. We need to try and probably bring that happiness on their smiles because I’ve always believed I think the most loyal fans have been fans from Kolkata because they’ve gone through a lot in the first three years of the IPL. Obviously it was the most high-profile team as well but I have always been a believer that ultimately it’s not about drama, its about what we do on the cricket field. Its all that matters. KKR should be known for wat we deliver on the field,” Gambhir said.
KKR finished seventh in the 2023 edition of the tournament under stand-in skipper Nitish Rana.
The 17th edition of the IPL begins on March 22.
KKR lock horns with Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opener on March 23 at the Eden Gardens.


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