Gautam Gambhir may have shocked fans by announcing his retirement from all forms of cricket on December 4, but that made his performance in his farewell match in Ranji Trophy 2018-19 between Delhi and Andhra, that much more exciting. Gambhir chose to retire at his homeground, Feroz Shah Kotla stadium, where the 37-year-old got to bat on Day 2 of the First Class match.
Walking into the stadium, Gambhir got a huge round of applause from the spectators, as well as a guard of honour from his teammates and the Andhra team.
In the first innings, Andhra scored 390 runs. The crowd was anxious as they wanted to see the local boy on the batting crease doing what he does the best. Gambhir made his farewell match even more special by hitting a century. It was a classical innings as he batted with controlled aggression. The left-handed batsman scored 112 runs off 185 deliveries at a strike rate of 60.54 including 10 fours.
Here’s the video of Gambhir’s walk from the dressing room to the middle posted by former Indian cricketer Parwinder Awana:
It was a delight to share such lovely moments with you in the @delhi_cricket and India dressing room. Wishing you the very best for your post retirement life. You will always be dearest senior. Thank you for all the love and guidance, @GautamGambhir bhaiya pic.twitter.com/6JwFQBzb07
— Parvinder Awana (@ParvinderAwana) December 7, 2018
During the match a fan of Gambhir breached the security to touch his feet and click a selfie. He was escorted out of the ground by police later on.
— Team Gautam Gambhir (@gautamgambhir97) December 7, 2018
You don’t really witness a footfall like this in a group stage Ranji match. Here’s Gambhir reaching his century and acknowledging the crowd:
— Team Gautam Gambhir (@gautamgambhir97) December 8, 2018
He got a thunderous applause walking back to the dressing room after a century:
— sumitnarwal16 (@SumitNarwal) December 8, 2018
Delhi got a decent foundation in reply to Andhra’s first inning score, as Gambhir shared a 108-run stand with opener Hiten Dalal. Currently, Delhi are in the driving seat looking to take a substantial lead. If things go Delhi’s way, Gambhir’s services with the bat will not be needed in the second innings. Although his fans would want him to bat one more time and hit the winning runs.