Gautam Gambhir Returns To KKR As Mentor Ahead Of IPL 2024 Auctions; Shah Rukh Khan Says 'His Absence Was Deeply Felt'

Gambhir has won Kolkata Knight Riders two IPL titles, including 2012 and 2014 championships. He will join hands with current KKR head coach Chandrakant Pandit to help the side lift their third title.

Gautam Gambhir Returns To KKR As Mentor Ahead Of IPL 2024 Auctions; Shah Rukh Khan Says 'His Absence Was Deeply Felt' Shah Rukh Khan with Gautam Gambhir. (Image: X)

Gautam Gambhir, who won the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), two Indian Premier League (IPL) titles has returned home after a long hiatus, this time in a different role. Gautam will be KKR's mentor, a role he served for two years at Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). Gambhir's earlier stint with KKR, spanning from 2011 to 2017, etched a historic chapter. Within that period, the team claimed the title twice, made it to the playoffs five times, and even reached the finals of the Champions League T20 in 2014.

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Regarding his return, Gambhir expressed, "I'm not usually swayed by emotions, but this feels different. It's a return to where it all began. There's a lump in my throat and a fiery passion as I contemplate donning that iconic purple and gold jersey again. I'm not just rejoining KKR; I'm returning to the city of joy. I'm back. I'm hungry. I am number 23. Ami KKR."

Welcoming Gambhir back to KKR, co-owner Shah Rukh Khan said, "Gautam has always been part of our family, and now he returns in a new role as a 'Mentor.' His absence was deeply felt, and we eagerly anticipate Chandu Sir and Gautam infusing the never-give-up spirit and sportsmanship they embody, crafting magic with Team KKR."

Gambhir wrote a heartfelt note on his X (formerly Twitter) account for the LSG fans, wishing them all the best for the future championships. Gambhir wrote: "As I announce the end of my impeccable journey with Lucknow Super Giants, I am filled with love and immense gratitude towards all the players, coaches, support staff and every individual who has made this journey memorable."

The former LSG mentor also thanked the owner Dr Sanjiv Goenka for his inspiring leadership. "I would like to thank Dr Sanjib Goenka for his inpiring leadership while creating this remarkable franchise and for his tremendous support to all my endeavours. I am sure that the team will do wonders in the future and will make every LSG fan proud. All the very best LSG brigade," wrote Gambhir.

The former KKR captain also posted another update on X, saying he is back to 'Ami KKR'. He shared his photo in the KKR jersey and wrote: "I am back. I an hungry. I am No 23. Ami KKR."

Since Gambhir left KKR in 2016, the franchise has made just one final, losing it to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2021. KKR have gone back to their talismanic skipper to bring back the magic and help them clinch the third IPL title.