(Image source from: The Quint)
Veteran Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir, who celebrated his 37th birthday by scoring a century in Vijay Hazare Trophy encounter against Haryana has said he will retire the day he feels there are no emotions involved in the game.
Gambhir has been in the cricketing field for more than a decade now and is the sole Indian to have scored centuries in five successive Test matches.
Asked what keeps him going on the cricket field and if he has any targets before hanging up his boots, Gambhir told IANS over the phone from Mumbai: "No, till the time I keep scoring runs, that makes me happy. You keep doing it. I think scoring runs, winning, coming back to the dressing room happy, being in the winning environment makes me happy."
"Till the time I have that passion in me, where I want to come back to a happy dressing room, I want to be a part of that happy environment - I am going to keep going, and the day I feel that there are no emotions involved in it then I would think it's time to go."
Born in Delhi, Gambhir began his career in 1999 with the Ranji Trophy and made his first appearance in Test in 2004. In 2011, he started his captaincy with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Under his captaincy, KKR won their IPL title in 2012 and over again in 2014.
Gambhir played an integral part in India's wins in the finals of both the 2007 World Twenty20 (75 runs from 54 balls) and the 2011 Cricket World Cup (97 from 122).
In 2008, he was bestowed for the Arjuna Award. In 2009, he was the number one ranked batsman in ICC (International Cricket Council) Test rankings and was the receiver of the ICC Test Player of the Year award.
When asked if his professional journey been fulfilling or is there any vacuum he can perhaps fill, he said: "You can always fill in something. There is never an end to your journey and probably the day I would feel that has been achieved, I obviously could not have continued playing," he said.
"There is a vacuum and there is always something more to achieve in life as well and that is what makes a person work hard and keep going forward as well," said Gambhir, who in the 2018 IPL auction, was bought by the Delhi Daredevils for Rs 2.8 crore, and was assigned as the captain before he stepped down midway into the tournament.
Gambhir, who attended the Vicks' new #TouchOfCare campaign launch earlier this week, says in 11 years, IPL has turned more strenuous and challenging.
"That will always happen because new players will come. Challenges will be different, players and franchises will get smarter. From the first to the eleventh edition, IPL has got tougher, better and more challenging."
"That is where the biggest challenge for any sportsman is. If you can keep growing with that challenge, that is what will keep you going," the southpaw said.
Overall in his career, there are more things to achieve, Gambhir says.
"I'm not going to say that there is not anything left to achieve. Obviously, there is something to achieve. That keeps me going," he said.
By Sowmya Sangam