A token of appreciation was presented to Gautam Gambhir by Sanjog Gupta, Chairperson, Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, FICCI. Every time Indian cricket does not do well the blame comes on IPL, which is not fair.” According to Gambhir, the Indian Premier League has transformed cricket in the country over the past years.
He made the remarks at the FICCI Turf 2022 and India Sports Awards. “IPL is the best thing that has happen to Indian cricket. I can say this with all my senses. There has been lot of backlash regarding IPL since it started. Every time Indian cricket does not do well, the blame comes on IPL, which is not fair. If we don’t perform well in ICC tournaments, blame the players, blame the performance, but it is unfair to point fingers on the IPL,”
“A sportsman can only earn till he is 35-36. IPL provides with financial security which is equally important,”
When discussing IPL coaches, he added and praised BCCI. In addition to praising the BCCI for recruiting Indian coaches over the past few years, he also stressed the importance of hiring more Indian coaches for the IPL.
“One good thing that has happen in Indian cricket is that Indians have started coaching the Indian National Cricket team now. I strongly believe Indian should coach the Indian team. All these foreign coaches, who we gave a lot of importance to, come here to make money and then they vanish. Emotions are important in sports. The only people who can be emotional about Indian cricket are the ones who have represented their country,”
He kept on speaking about Indian Coaches in the IPL as:
“I am a mentor of Lucknow Super Giants. One thing I want to change is that I want to see all Indian coaches in IPL. Because no Indian coach gets opportunity in Big Bash or any other foreign leagues. India is a superpower in cricket, but our coaches do not get opportunity anywhere. All the foreigners come here and get the top jobs. We are more democratic and flexible than other leagues. We need to give our own people more opportunity,”
In response to the question of who he sees as the current poster boy or poster girl of Indian sports, Gambhir responded that everyone representing the country is a poster boy. To further advocate for state governments to adopt the Odisha model and promote one Olympic sport, he emphasized the need for them to adopt the Odisha model.
“Sports is going to play a massive role in development of India. There is a need to engage young children with sports and physical activities instead of their electronic devices. Every state should pick up one sport like Odisha has done with Indian hockey. See where hockey has gone today. I know sports ministry is doing a lot, and corporates are getting involved, but if each state picks up one sport and completely focuses on that, imagine where our Olympic sports are going to be,”
He left with these thoughts “If it is my way, probably the BCCI should also go on and give 50 percent of revenue to all other Olympic sports, though it is not my way. Because 50 percent of revenue that is generated out of cricket is enough for cricketers. But the rest of the 50 percent can actually pick up all the other sports,”
In the coming IPL 2023, he is managing Lucknow Super Giants and will be doing great as he did in his cricketing career as an opener batsman.