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News

Gambhir returns to Kolkata Knight Riders as team mentor

KKR are hoping for a change of fortunes after finishing seventh in both 2022 and 2023

KKR fans have clearly been waiting to get Gautam Gambhir back  •  BCCI

KKR fans have clearly been waiting to get Gautam Gambhir back  •  BCCI

Gautam Gambhir, who was captain when Kolkata Knight Riders won the IPL in 2012 and 2014, has linked up with the franchise as the team's mentor, starting with the upcoming season in 2024 with no fixed period decided on yet.
"I am not an emotional person and not many things move me. But this is different," Gambhir said in a statement. "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."
Gambhir, a T20 (2007) and ODI (2011) World Cup champion, joined Knight Riders in 2011 and was with the team till 2017. During the period, Knight Riders qualified for the IPL playoffs five times (including the two years they won the tournament) and also reached the final of the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014.
"Gautam has always been part of the family and this is our captain coming back home in a different avatar as a 'Mentor'," team co-owner Shah Rukh Khan noted. "He was sorely missed and now we all look forward to Chandu [Chandrakant Pandit] Sir and Gautam in instilling the never-say-die spirit and of sportsmanship they stand for, in creating magic with Team KKR."
The Knight Riders support staff is led by head coach Chandrakant Pandit, with Abhishek Nayar (assistant coach), James Foster (assistant coach), Bharat Arun (bowling coach) and Ryan ten Doeschate (fielding coach) in the line-up.
Knight Riders, one of the few teams to have been a part of every edition of the IPL since its inception in 2008, reached the IPL final, where they lost to Chennai Super Kings, in 2021, but have since finished seventh in both 2022 and 2023.
In recent years, apart from being a member of parliament and a TV cricket pundit, Gambhir was a part of Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL. He joined Lucknow Super Giants, one of two new teams in the 2022 season of the IPL, and was subsequently elevated to the role of "global mentor", which made him a part of Durban's Super Giants in the SA20 league in South Africa as well.