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Gambhir to Contest Elections on BJP Ticket from East Delhi

PTI | Updated: April 22, 2019, 11:40 PM IST
Gambhir to Contest Elections on BJP Ticket from East Delhi

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The BJP on Monday fielded former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir from the East Delhi constituency and renominated Meenakshi Lekhi from New Delhi.

The party has so far announced its candidates for six of the seven seats in the national capital.

Gambhir has replaced Maheish Girri as the party's candidate and will take on Arvinder Singh Lovely of the Congress and Atishi of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

He turned out in 58 Tests and 147 ODIs for India and had joined the ruling national party in New Delhi earlier this year in the presence of Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad. Gambhir played key roles in India’s triumph in the 2011 World Cup and the 2007 T20 World Cup.

He was also conferred the Padma Shri award after his retirement.

“Gambhir has excelled in his career and the party hopes to utilise his talent. The BJP will benefit from his talent,” Jaitley, who was the former president of Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA) which Gambhir represented, said.

“I would like to thank Jaitley sir, Ravi Shankar Prasad sir and BJP for giving me this opportunity to be doing something special for the country. I have done all that I could in cricket and this is a fabulous opportunity for me to do something great for this country, take this party forward and make this country a far better place to live. With sir’s blessing, I am going to try my best,” Gambhir said.

Gambhir, who made his international debut in 2003, also led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the Indian Premier League. He led KKR to two IPL title wins in 2012 and 2014.

The Delhi southpaw follows in the footsteps on former India cricketers like Kirti Azad, Mohammed Azharuddin, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Mohammed Kaif, who have joined politics.

Gambhir, who averaged 41.95 in Tests and 39.68 in ODIs, finished with over 10,000 runs in international cricket in all three formats. He is the only Indian and one of only four international batsman to score hundreds in five consecutive Tests in the 2009-10 season.

He was also awarded the Arjuna award in 2008 and was the top-scorers in India’s two World title wins — 2007 World T20 (75 in 54 balls) and the 2011 World Cup (97 from 122). Post retirement, Gambhir has been involved in doing commentary work.
First Published: April 22, 2019, 10:54 PM IST
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