After 15 years of international cricket for India, World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir has announced his retirement from all formats of cricket – he announced in an emotional Facebook video on Tuesday. Gambhir retires after last playing for the country in 2016 against England in Rajkot. He scored 4154 runs in Test cricket from 58 matches, 5238 runs in ODIs and 932 in T20Is. His last outing would be for Delhi in the Ranji Trophy against Andhra Pradesh in the match starting December 6.
“After more than fifteen years of cricket for my country, I want to retire from playing this beautiful game. Two World Cups, highest run-getter in the final of both games, it is the stuff that dreams are made of,” he says in the video.
Gambhir made his debut in 2003, in an ODI, against Bangladesh in Dhaka. In first-class cricket, Gambhir accumulated 15,041 runs and a massive 10,077 runs in List A cricket. In IPL, he led Kolkata Knight Riders to two titles – in 2012 and 2014. His shining moment may be the 2011 World Cup where he scored 97 from 122 balls in the final against Sri Lanka to steer India to first title since 1983. He was also part of India’s World T20 winning squad in 2007.
Incidentally, Gambhir’s decision to quit comes on the day when the Delhi Daredevils IPL team were renamed as Delhi Capitals – who he represented at the top of the order as captain. Last year, however, he gave up leadership duties midway during IPL 2018 owing to poor form and a string of defeats.
Gambhir retires as the fourth highest run-getter in the IPL, with 4217 runs in 152 innings at an average of 31, including 36 half-centuries. He started his IPL career with Delhi Daredevils and then moved to Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011, before leading them to title wins in 2012 and 2014. He was not included in the squad for 2018 and was snapped up by Delhi once again. However, an indifferent form saw him reduced to the bench before relinquishing leadership responsibilities to Shreyas Iyer.
His rich form in Test cricket saw him score hundreds in five consecutive matches – a feat achieved by no other Indian. He is also the only Indian batsman to have scored more than 300 runs in four consecutive Test series. He was named as ICC Test Player of the Year in 2009 and attained the number one ranking in July that year.
Gambhir was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2008 alongside Anup Sridhar, Verghese Johnson, Dronavalli Harika, Prabhjot Singh, Pankaj Shrisat, Bajrang lal Thakkar, Avneet Kaur Sidhu and Alka Tomar.