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  5. IPL 2024: Homecoming for Gautam Gambhir as ex-captain returns to KKR as mentor, SRK welcomes him back

IPL 2024: Homecoming for Gautam Gambhir as ex-captain returns to KKR as mentor, SRK welcomes him back

Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir has stepped down as Lucknow Super Giants mentor ahead of the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League and as expected, has returned to the Purple and Gold franchise. Gambhir served two years as LSG mentor and will hope to take KKR to new heights.

Written By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Updated on: November 22, 2023 12:37 IST
Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir has
Image Source : GAUTAM GAMBHIR X Former Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir has returned to the franchise, this time as a mentor

It's a homecoming for Gautam Gambhir in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as two-time trophy-winning captain with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has returned to the franchise in the capacity of a mentor ahead of the 2024 edition. Gambhir, who served as mentor for a couple of years with the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), will hope to extend his successful run with KKR as team co-owner Shah Rukh Khan was happy to see the captain back. 

In a statement on KKR website, Gambhir on his return said that returning to KKR is different and even though he is not an emotional person, he is feeling the jitters to where it all started for him, as far as success in the IPL is concerned. "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," he said.

In seven years with KKR, Gambhir took the franchise to the title twice and create innumerable memories, which the rest of the team with head coach Chandrakant Pandit and the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Nitish Rana. Welcoming the 'captain' back, 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 will join a star-studded coaching staff headed by Pandit, which also features James Foster, Abhishek Nayar, Bharat Arun and Ryan ten Doeschate.

On the other hand, Lucknow Super Giants, who appointed Justin Langer as their new coach, qualified for the playoffs in their first two seasons but lost the eliminator both times. While many expected Gambhir to make the move, stand-in skipper Nitish Rana even hinted at it a couple of months ago and now that it has actually happened, very few are surprised.

Bidding goodbye to LSG and its fans, Gambhir in a statement on X (formerly Twitter) said, "As I announce the end of my impeccable journey with Lucknow Super Giants, I am filled with love and immense gratitude towards all the players, coaches, support staff and every individual who has made this journey memorable. I would like to thank Dr. Sanjiv Goenka for his inspiring leadership while creating this remarkable franchise and for his tremendous support to all my endeavours. I'm sure that the team will do wonders in the future and will make every LSG fan proud. All the very best LSG brigade!"

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