Gautam Gambhir returns to KKR. Gautam Gambhir was named as the mentor of Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of IPL 2024. He will work with head coach Chandrakant Pandit.

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was named as the mentor of Kolkata Knight Riders ahead of IPL 2024. KKR CEO Venky Mysore announced the decision on Wednesday. Gambhir will work with head coach Chandrakant Pandit to bring back the glory of KKR. Gambhir’s previous association with KKR from 2011-17 was nothing short of historic. During this period, the team won the title twice, qualified for the playoffs five times, and reached the finals of the Champions League T20 in 2014.

The speculations about a possible reunion of Gambhir and KKR were ripe when the former opener quit as the mentor of the Lucknow Super Giants after the last IPL. He played a crucial role in the formation of the LSG squad in their maiden season in 2022 and has been pivotal in the decision-making process of the newcomers.

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Gautam Gambhir returns to KKR:

Speaking on his return, Gambhir said he would have a lump in his throat and fire in his heart while wearing the purple and gold jersey again. “I am not an emotional person and not many things move me. But this is different. This is back to where it all started. Today, there is a lump in my throat and fire in my heart as I think about slipping into that purple and gold jersey once again. I am not only coming back to KKR but I am coming back to the city of joy. Ami KKR,” he said.

Welcoming Gambhir back to KKR, co-owner Shah Rukh Khan said – “Gautam has always been part of the family and this is our Captain coming back home in a different avatar as a “Mentor”. He was sorely missed and now we all look forward to Chandu Sir and Gautam in instilling the never-say-die spirit and of sportsmanship, they stand for, in creating magic with Team KKR.”

Gambhir represented KKR 122 times – the joint second-most along with Yusuf Pathan. He is also the only KKR batter to have scored more than 3000 runs for the franchises. Gambhir amassed 3345 runs at an average of 31 and a strike rate of 124. He was instrumental in building the core of the Kolkata-based franchise. It was under his leadership that KKR roped in Sunil Narine and Andre Russell – two relatively unknown West Indies cricketers at that time who would go on to become the franchise’s two most successful overseas recruits.

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KKR’s Prospects with Narine, Russell, and Iyer

Narine and Russell continue to be a part of the KKR set-up. The two-time champions, however, did not have the best of seasons last year. They finished seventh in the points table with six wins in eight matches but this year, they will have the get the services of Shreyas Iyer back. Their regular captain was ruled out of the entire last season due to a back injury.

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