Gautam Gambhir returns to KKR in a new avatar
Gautam Gambhir, who led the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to IPL titles in 2012 and 2014 has reconnected with the franchise in the capacity of team mentor for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL 2024) season.
A champion in T20I (2007) and ODI (2011) World Cups, Gambhir initially joined the Knight Riders in 2011 and remained associated with the team until 2017. Over this period, the Knight Riders secured qualification for the IPL playoffs five times, including the two years they clinched the championship. Additionally, they reached the final of the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014.
Gambhir said in a statement, "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."
The coaching lineup for KKR is spearheaded by head coach Chandrakant Pandit, supported by assistant coaches Abhishek Nayar and James Foster, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach Ryan ten Doeschate.
KKR seek to revive fortunes in IPL 2024
Despite being a consistent participant in every IPL edition since its inception in 2008, the Knight Riders experienced a setback in the 2021 season, finishing as runners-up to Chennai Super Kings. Subsequently, they secured seventh place in both the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
In recent years, in addition to his roles as a Member of Parliament and a cricket pundit on television, Gambhir was affiliated with Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL. His association with Lucknow Super Giants, one of the two new teams introduced in the 2022 IPL season led to his elevation to the position of "global mentor." This role extended his involvement to Durban's Super Giants in the South African SA20 league as well.