In an extraordinary expression of admiration and respect, former India opener and Kolkata Knight Riders legend, Gautam Gambhir, who made waves with his return to the team as a mentor for the upcoming Indian Premier League 2024, made a stunning remark about one of his former teammates. Gambhir, known for his strategic acumen and leadership, led KKR to two title victories in 2012 and 2014 and is now set to impart his vast experience in his new role.

With the IPL season drawing near, the team management at KKR is teeming with optimism, banking on Gambhir’s storied legacy to translate into success. It was during a candid interaction that Gambhir reminisced about the 2011 season and brought to light the story of Ryan ten Doeschate, a former KKR player, hailing him as the epitome of selflessness – a virtue Gambhir holds in high regard in team sports. In a staggering remark underscoring his respect, Gambhir stated that he could “take a bullet” for ten Doeschate, poignantly illustrating the strength of their bond and ten Doeschate’s profound impact as a team man.

When I talk about selflessness, I have never said this in 42 years of my career, and I wanted to say this. The greatest team man I have ever played with, the most selfless human being, someone I can take a bullet for, someone who I can trust for life, and I can tell you this because in 2011 my first game as a KKR captain.

Gautam Gambhir, at the KKR jersey launch

Ryan ten Doeschate, who catapulted into the IPL scene in 2011, played 29 matches, amassing 107 runs with an impressive strike rate of 146.57. Although he may not be a household name compared to some of his peers, ten Doeschate’s contribution to the team spirit and cohesiveness of KKR is evidently held in high esteem, especially by a stalwart like Gambhir.

As the KKR heads into the new season, the team looks strong with the return of captain Shreyas Iyer, who missed out on the 2023 season because of an injury, and the addition of Australian fast bowling sensation, Mitchell Starc. Hopes are high as the purple brigade is slated to face off against Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 23 in what promises to be a thrilling commencement to their campaign.

KKR fans and supporters are eagerly anticipating what Gambhir’s homecoming will herald for the team. With his strategic prowess back in the mix, combined with the tales of camaraderie and selflessness he brings along, the Kolkata Knight Riders might just find that extra bit of soul they need to edge out their competition in the high-octane cricket saga that is the IPL.

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