KKR co-owners Shah Rukh Khan and mentor Gautam Gambhir.
KKR co-owners Shah Rukh Khan and mentor Gautam Gambhir. Image Credit: X

Table of Contents

In a fairytale way, Gautam Gambhir, with his mentorship help the Kolkata Knight Riders to clinch their third trophy in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2024, as they hammered the Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets with around 10-overs to spare, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Chennai.

It’s quite incredible how it was the same person, under whose captaincy Kolkata earned their first two titles of the league, back in 2012 and 2014. Since then, the Knight Riders made only one appearance in the final of the competition, but had to return with the runners-up tag against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2021.

The relation between the former India opener, and the co-owner of the KKR side, Shah Rukh Khan has been quite strong that Gambhir made his return to the franchise.

Gautam Gambhir left LSG after meeting SRK in Mannat

The year was 2017, when the former KKR captain parted away with the franchise, to go back to his base to represent the Delhi Capitals. It turned out to be the last season of Gautam Gambhir, as he declared his retirement from all formats of the game.

Also Read: IPL 2024: Will Jacks Shares Coaching Tips From Virat Kohli

In IPL 2022, with the inclusion of two new teams, Gambhir returned back as the mentor of the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). The team did fabulous performance in both the seasons, and finished among the top-four on both occasions.

However, the reports suggest that despite being away from the Knight Riders franchise, GG was in contact behind the scenes. As the Dainik Jagran has reported, Bollywood super-star, Shah Rukh Khan and Gautam Gambhir used to meet with each other many times in between the 2018 and 2022 season, but hardly talked about cricket, until last year.

The newspaper also reported that after two years of taking the Lucknow side in the playoffs, SRK invited Gambhir to his house- ‘Mannat’, for a meeting, which went on for more than two hours, where apparently it was Shar Rukh who approached Gambhir with a blank cheque to get his services of the KKR set-up for the next 10-years.

All these incidents happened behind the attention of LSG owner, Sanjiv Goenka, who came to know about it, when Jagran broke out the news publicly. It was too late, given Gautam Gambhir was already convinced by then, as he informed the Lucknow management that he wouldn’t see his future with them in the future.

In September 2023, Gambhir returned to KKR with the new deal and helped them in lifting the trophy with his incredible personality and winning mentality.

Will Gambhir leave KKR for India coach role?

The new question rises that if the member of India’s 2007-T20 World Cup winning team, Gautam Gambhir gets the job of being the next India coach, then will he deny it for KKR? It has already been reported that Gambhir is on the radar of the BCCI.

Also Read: T20 World Cup 2024: Ricky Ponting Picks Rishabh Pant To Make Huge Impact For India

No candidate could go with both roles, as the former Pakistan pacer Wasim Akram feels that the ball is on Gambhir’s court, on whether he wants to join the India team, or he wants to spend more time with his KKR family.

However, the job of an India coach is quite taxing, on how the person needs to fly around the world most of the times, and with a young family it becomes really hard, and that’s one of the reason, why the likes of Stephen Fleming wasn’t reluctant for the role.

At the end of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024, the current head coach Rahul Dravid’s tenure will end, as India will appoint a new coach, perhaps for the away Zimbabwe series, or towards the beginning of the home summer. It’s up to Gautam Gambhir to take the final call.