WATCH: ‘IPL is not a platform to play for India’ – Gautam Gambhir opposes KL Rahul
Gautam Gambhir, the Lucknow Super Giants mentor, offered a very contrasting view to the team’s skipper KL Rahul as they talked about Indian players’ commitment towards their franchise while playing the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Gambhir said he doesn’t believe that players who represent their various franchises in the IPL should play with the sole motive of being selected for India.
The former India opener said he expects players to be entirely committed towards their franchise in the two-month span of the league, adding that being selected for India is a “byproduct” of doing well in the IPL.
“When I’ve captained, I have always said I don’t want players thinking of playing for India. I want players thinking of playing for the franchise. Playing for India is just the byproduct,” Gautam Gambhir said on the Youtube show ‘Backstage with Boria’.
“If you think of playing for India and you start saying that Lucknow gives me that platform to play for India, then you are being dishonest to the franchise. But if you were to play for Lucknow and deliver it for Lucknow, eventually you will end up playing for India,” added the 40-year-old, who led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to titles in IPL 2012 and IPL 2014.
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Gautam Gambhir opposes KL Rahul’s view on Indian players ahead of IPL 2022
Gautam Gambhir’s remarks were a contrasting follow-up to the comment that Rahul made sitting on the show, where Lucknow Super Giants owner Sanjiv Goenka was also present.
In an earlier response to a query by show host Boria Majumdar, Rahul mentioned that he is excited to be able to provide the team’s young drat signing Ravi Bishnoi a platform to be able to fulfil his dream of representing India.
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But while Rahul said “it would be good us (the franchise and the team) to be part of that journey (towards the India cap) and support him (Bishnoi) as much we can”, Gautam Gambhir made it very clear that he doesn’t see IPL as a platform to audition for an India cap.
The ex-cricketer said he finds it a “dishonest” act towards an IPL franchise if the player is consumed with the thought of playing for India for the two months of IPL.
GG has made things very clear to KL pic.twitter.com/39Iqk0q0bs
— Pratik (@Prat1k_) January 24, 2022
Gautam Gambhir, the mentor, who seems to be holding a powerful voice in Lucknow’s decision-making, made it clear that he doesn’t want his players to be thinking here is an opportunity to impress the national selectors. Instead, he wants them to believe it is a chance to win an IPL for the new Lucknow franchise.
“So probably in those two months, I would not want any of the players saying or thinking that my job or my ultimate aim is to play for India,” he said. “Their ultimate aim for those two months is to win the tournament for the franchise. And if they look to do that with their performances, they will eventually go on to play for India.”