I’ll quit when I am not emotional about cricket, says Gautam Gambhir

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I’ll quit when I am not emotional about cricket, says Gautam Gambhir

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SportsCafe Desk

12/21/2017

Gautam Gambhir has asserted that he will call an end to his cricketing journey when he does not feel any passion for the game anymore. The former Indian opener also stated that the biggest challenge BCCI face is to prioritize between Test cricket and the IPL to get the future generation interested.

Gambhir has been a tremendous servant for Indian cricket all these years. Be it his contribution to the national team or his desire to keep on playing despite his bleak chances of making it back to the big stage, his commitment cannot be questioned. After guiding his team to the final of the 2017 Ranji Trophy, the 36-year-old admitted that he has no plans to call an end to his career anytime soon.

"If there are no emotions involved, it's time to go. If I don't get the runs, I still sulk and don't sleep. It's not the hunger to play for India. It's just the hunger to score runs. I'm still nervous before a game. It gives me satisfaction that I still belong. Winning still matters," Gambhir told TOI.

The 36-year-old is getting ready to take part in a game that would win him the biggest prize in Indian cricket, but that is not how his season began. After the much-publicized bust-up with Delhi coach KP Bhaskar, it looked like Gambhir might have to walk away from his beloved Delhi with three states reportedly offering him a role in their teams. However, Gambhir stayed in Delhi and has not looked back since.

"Delhi gave me everything. If you're not loyal at the professional level, how can you be loyal at the personal level?” he explained.

One of the biggest challenges that World Cricket faces is the direction in which Test cricket is headed. With the introduction of T20 cricket, the demand for Test cricket has diminished even though players still consider it to be the highest honour to don the whites for their country. Gambhir, however, feels that it is Indian board that needs to take the call on whether they want the format to be successful in the country.

"BCCI's challenge is to decide whether they want kids to play IPL or Tests. A Ranji player in a whole season maybe earns Rs 10 lakh. An uncapped player gets picked for Rs 30 or Rs 40 lakh. How will he be motivated to go through the first-class grind? If you give more weightage to IPL performances, you cannot get your domestic structure right. Also, make it five days. None of the players today have the art of batting for a draw or bowling for a win on Day five, because they're not used to it," Gambhir suggested.

Even though he has scored an impressive 632 runs, with three centuries, in the season so far, Gambhir is not the only shining light in the Delhi team. Youngsters like Rishabh Pant and Navdeep Saini have left their own mark on the successful campaign with the latter being instrumental in ending Bengal’s season in the semis.

"This is what can happen when, as a batsman, you have one good Ranji season and you are fast-tracked. You must go through the grind. Maybe he (Pant) was not ready to play international cricket, but now he will learn to handle failure. Sometimes when you start on a high, you feel you belong," the 36-year-old added.

"He (Saini) is a Test prospect. I played him and Ishant in the nets and there wasn't much difference in pace. White-ball cricket can interfere with the ability to generate pace or swing or hit the deck hard. T20 requires different skills, variations, trickery."

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