Gautam Gambhir announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in December 2018, with the Ranji Trophy game between Delhi and Andhra Pradesh being his last match.
"The next Ranji trophy match against Andhra will be my last game in the sun. It is all coming to an end from where it started at Feroz Shah Kotla," Gambhir said in his video announcement, which was shared on social media. "As a batsman I have always valued timing. I know the time is just right and I am sure it's sweet as well," he said.
The most difficult decisions are often taken with the heaviest of hearts. And with one heavy heart, I’ve decided to make an announcement that I’ve dreaded all my life. ➡️https://t.co/J8QrSHHRCT@BCCI #Unbeaten— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) December 4, 2018
Now, Gambhir has announced his decision to take on a more challenging game, that of the electorate, after being inducted into the Delhi cadre of the Bharatiya Janta Party ahead of the upcoming elections.
Speaking at BJP headquarters in Delhi, the former cricketer said, "I thank the party for giving me this opportunity. I am joining this party after being inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision. It's an opportunity for me to do something for my countrymen. I look forward to doing my best."
BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who was also present at the announcement, did not confirm the constituency where the party will field Gambhir from. "Let's leave it to the country's Election Committee. For now we are happy he joined the party," he said.
In any case, if one takes a closer look at his social media and the predilection for social commentary that is clearly visible therein, one might suspect Gambhir has long been preparing for the next big game of his life: a career in politics.
Gambhir has always been vocal over various issues plaguing the nation and ever eager to demonstrate his knowledge of current events and society's problems, Gambhir is literally a poster-boy of desi Twitter, as we explore below.
He took Delhi's political masters to task over the pollution crisis in the region.
“दर्दे दिल, दर्दे जिगर दिल्ली में जगाया AAP ने, पहले तो यहाँ Oxygen था, Oxygen भगाया AAP ने।” @ArvindKejriwal @AamAadmiParty our generations are going up in smoke like your false promises. U had 1 full year to tame dengue &pollution, sadly you couldn’t control either. Wake up!!! pic.twitter.com/xePi5mubO5— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) October 31, 2018
He had a heated exchange with Omar Abdullah over the death of Mannan Wani.
Mannan Wani’s death: We killed a terrorist and lost a radicalised talent. @OmarAbdullah @MehboobaMufti @INCIndia @BJP4India all should bow their heads in embarrassment that they left a young man drift from books to embrace bullet.— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) October 12, 2018
This man wouldn’t be able to find Manan’s home district on a map much less his village & yet he presumes to know what drives young men in Kashmir to pick up the gun. Mr Gambhir clearly knows less about Kashmir than I do about cricket & I know almost nothing. https://t.co/oZ8hc5VcgH— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 12, 2018
Come on @OmarAbdullah you shouldn’t talk about maps, you are hell bent in changing the map of my country by talking Kashmir to Pakistan! Stroll out of that ivory tower and explain what u or ur fellow politicians have done to engage the Kashmiri youth @BJP4India @INCIndia— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) October 12, 2018
It’s been less than a week since I had two of my colleagues killed by terrorists, my party has lost 1000s of workers, both senior & junior since 1988. I don’t need a lecture in nationalism & sacrifice from someone who wouldn’t know sacrifice if it kicked him. https://t.co/iM14SarX5j— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) October 12, 2018
You aren’t alone @OmarAbdullah, most of ur lot (read politicians) don’t like mirror thrusted on u and that’s why my country is bleeding. Nationalism and sacrifice need men of real character and not someone like u searching for lip-service in 280 character limit of social media!!!— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) October 12, 2018
He naturally had an opinion on the Amritsar train tragedy, in which a group of Ramlila revelers were run over by a speeding train.
Train accident-loss of human lives-blame game-government compensations-media trial-committees-everything conveniently forgotten-REPEAT.... Well, it’s so sad how we value human lives!!!— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) October 20, 2018
He also tackled the sensitive issue of famrer suicides, calling out political parties over their inaction.
आज तड़के एक किसान के घर से ख़ुदकुशी को निकलते देखा।मैं संभला ही था के सांप्रदायिकता ने एक ज़ोर का धक्का मारा।मैं उठा तो पाया के भूख, अपराध, डेंगू, बेरोज़गारी मुझे घेरे खड़े हैं।मैं बोला “तुम सब कब आए?” वो बोले “जब तुम मंदिर-मस्जिद कर रहे थे।” @AamAadmiParty @BJP4India @INCIndia— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) October 9, 2018