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Cricketing Legend Gautam Gambhir turns 42 | Journey from bylanes of Delhi to Cricketer and a Politician

File: Former cricketer and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gautam Gambhir (ANI)

On this 14th October, former Indian cricket sensation Gautam Gambhir celebrating his 42nd birthday. Born into a prominent Delhi-based business family on the same day in 1981, Gambhir’s journey from the bylanes of Delhi to becoming a prominent left-handed batter and a BJP Lok Sabha member from East Delhi is nothing short of inspiring. But it was his crucial role in India’s victories at the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup that etched his name in the annals of cricket history.

Gambhir’s tryst with the world of cricket began when he made his debut for the Indian cricket team in an ODI against Scotland on April 11, 2003. He went on to play 147 ODIs, the last one on January 27, 2013, against England. He also participated in 58 Test matches, marking his debut on November 3, 2004, against Australia. His final appearance in Test cricket was on November 9, 2016, against England. In addition, Gambhir contributed to the T20 format with 37 T20Is under his belt. His contributions across formats amounted to 4154 runs in Tests, 5238 runs in ODIs, and 932 runs in T20Is.

Gambhir’s best performance in Test cricket was a remarkable 206 runs, while in ODIs, he displayed his prowess with an unbeaten 150. In the T20 format, his highest score was 75. Notably, he registered 9 centuries in Tests and 11 in ODIs, a testament to his consistent performance in the highest echelons of the sport.

In the 2007 T20 World Cup final against Pakistan, Gautam Gambhir was the hero, making a significant contribution of 75 runs, adorned with 8 fours and 2 sixes. This innings played a pivotal role in India’s victory and catapulted him to stardom.

The pinnacle of Gambhir’s career came in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. In the final against Sri Lanka, he batted under immense pressure, scoring a crucial 97 off 122 balls. His innings helped India lift the World Cup after 28 years and is remembered as one of the defining moments in Indian cricket history.

Gambhir’s exceptional contributions to Indian cricket were acknowledged with several awards and accolades. In 2008, he was honored with the Arjuna Award, and in 2019, he received the prestigious Padma Shri.

In 2009, he reached the pinnacle of the ICC Test rankings as the number one ranked batsman, and in the same year, he was awarded the ICC Test Player of the Year. These recognitions underscore his remarkable skill and consistency in the longest format of the game.

Gambhir’s cricketing journey extended beyond the national team. As the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), he led the team to victory in 2012 and 2014, establishing a remarkable legacy in the world of franchise cricket. Currently, he serves as the mentor for the Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL.

On December 3, 2018, Gautam Gambhir announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, marking the end of an illustrious cricketing career. His farewell match was for the Delhi cricket team against the Andhra cricket team in the Ranji Trophy on December 6, 2018. As he transitioned from the cricketing field to the political arena, Gambhir continued to be an influential figure, representing the East Delhi constituency as a Member of Parliament.

Gautam Gambhir’s journey from a young cricket enthusiast in Delhi to a celebrated cricketing legend and influential politician is a tale of dedication, perseverance, and exceptional talent. As we celebrate his 42nd birthday, we fondly remember the indelible mark he left on Indian cricket and his role in bringing home the most prestigious cricketing trophies to the nation. His legacy continues to inspire generations of cricket enthusiasts and young talents aiming to make their mark in the cricketing world.