Gautam Gambhir won't play for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in this year's Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. The left-hander was with the franchise for seven years and the association has come to an end. He will wear Delhi Daredevils jersey this season as he was bought by them at the recent players auction in Bengaluru.
KKR did not retain the left-hander and opted for West Indies duo of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. At the auction, the team did not bid for him and also did not exercise Right to Match (RTM) card. The reasons for it was later revealed by the franchise's CEO Venky Mysore.
Also read: Full list of KKR squad for IPL 2018
He had said at the auction, "First of all congratulations (to DD). Best wishes to Gauti (Gambhir). He has done a brilliant job for us and a big thanks for everything he has done. Just to clarify, he was very much in our plans for the auction, Right to Match. He had a conversation with us well before (the auction) and there might be a different challenge (for him).
"We don't know what it was. And had requested if we could refrain from bidding for him or using Right to Match. We said, 'listen we will never come in the progress of anyone or anyone's aspirations'. It is a new challenge he wanted. Sorry to see him go. Seven great years. I think he will be fantastic for Delhi."
Gambhir was picked by DD for Rs 2.8 crore. He is likely to captain the side, which is coached by former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting.
Today (February 2), KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan has spoken about Gambhir, who took the Kolkata outfit to two IPL titles.
In a Twitter interaction with fans, he said "Will miss him (Gambhir)." He also stated the team's philosophy for the 11th edition of the Twenty20 tournament.
"Our philosophy at KKR is nurture & believe in youngsters. I feel we will come good," he wrote.