Writing for The Quint, Patil went on to mention that Gambhir missed out on the chance of becoming a legend of Indian cricket by not taking part in the 2011 tour of England, after being hit on the head.
“I used to be the Director of the NCA during that period. I was in shock when I saw the reports of the physio and the doctors, who confirmed that his injury was not serious at all, and he could have continued in that series,” Patil wrote.
Just recently, Gambhir resigned from the post of skipper of IPL franchise Delhi Daredevils, and youngster Shreyas Iyer was given the leadership role. “I respect his decision to quit Delhi Daredevils captaincy, but he is the only person who knows why he stepped down in the middle of an IPL campaign. In my view, only an individual can understand what is going on inside his head,” said Patil.
Patil also pointed out that his relations with the opener soured when the southpaw batsman lost his place in the Indian team. “I was the chairman of the Selection Committee at the time and we selectors decided to give Dhawan a chance in place of a struggling Gambhir. Later on, all doors were shut for Gambhir as Murali Vijay too was performing excellently as an opener,” he said.
“That was the time Gambhir decided to end our friendship. I understand his feelings and took it in the right spirit. I did not take it personally. He hardly smiled whenever we met and he seems angry with me even today. When it comes to selecting a player for India, friendship or emotions don’t work. The interest of the country always comes first – survival of the fittest. Even the king of jungle has to surrender his territory one day.”
First Published: April 28, 2018, 7:25 PM IST