The South Asian Life & Times - SALT   
 Summer 2015          



 Summer 2015


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Q & A with Gautam Gambhir

 A top-order batsman for India, he plays domestic cricket for Delhi, captains Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, wins the IPL title twice in three years, and believes he has not done “anything spectacular yet – the best is still to come.”  Thirty-three year old Gautam Gambhir has also seen ‘down days’ in his cricketing career but they seem insignificant compared to his achievements that were once meteoric. In the midst of his hectic cricketing schedule and family commitments, SALT caught up with him in Delhi for a Q & A.

When did you first start playing cricket?

Like most Indian kids I was always into cricket. My days were spent playing the game and nights dreaming about it. Anything round was a cricket ball for me and anything vertical was a cricket bat. I was a dreamer, always wanting to play this great game.

How supportive were your parents in your decision to play cricket professionally?

They were fully supportive. In fact it was my mother, Seema Gambhir, who pushed me into serious cricket. Till the summer of 1992 I was playing cricket on the streets or parks but it was that year that Mom took me to a cricket academy in Delhi. It was Playmakers Cricket Academy near my house, close to Pusa Road, where I learnt the initial nuances of the game.

Does recognition and popularity come with a price tag? Do you get any private space in public spaces?‎

Everyone loves to be popular and I am no different. I love being recognised, being mobbed and in the heart of hearts thank Almighty for what He has blessed me with. The other day I went to my Alma Mater, Modern School, Barakhamba Road in New Delhi. I was the chief guest on sports day and was being followed everywhere I went. I was mobbed, pushed around for selfies but didn't mind it one bit. It was so much fun meeting and gaining respect from the same teachers who I once dreaded. So, it's all because whatever little I have done for the country and I am happy to be mobbed. To be honest I dread the day when all of this won't happen.

How is the Indian Premier League experience? Especially as Captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).‎

‎Well, the IPL has been a roller coaster for me. Personally, I had a great time with Delhi Daredevils and now the same with KKR. As leader of KKR I feel like a father of a family where each kid (read player) is different. On one hand I have a talent like Yusuf Pathan who is emotional and on the other I have Sunil Narine who is quite and a different individual.

How do you deal with frustrations on the field?

I think God has his way of preparing individuals for the challenges in their life. My life has been full of frustrations and debacles. Earlier, I use to get worked up but as  time went by I learned how to handle the downtime. I think all the challenges present in my younger life prepared me for bigger and stronger challenges ahead.


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