Kolkata, Nov 22: Gautam Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, will return to the franchise as the team’s mentor and join hands with head coach Chandrakant Pandit, starting with the upcoming season in 2024, the Indian Premier League franchise announced on Wednesday.
Gambhir joined Knight Riders in 2011 and was with the team till 2017. During the period, KKR qualified for the IPL playoffs five times (including the two years they won the tournament) and also reached the final of the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014.
Speaking on his return, Gambhir said: “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. I am back. I am hungry. I am number 23. Ami KKR.”
KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan on Fambhir’s return 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,”.