I have always put country first, says Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir in action during IPL 4 AFP

New Delhi: Jun 18, 2011

Under attack for playing the IPL play-off despite an injury, opener Gautam Gambhir said it was his decision to play in that game and rubbished suggestions that he compromised the national team’s interests in the process.

Gambhir, the most expensive player in the IPL, defended his decision to play the eliminator against Mumbai Indians despite the injury, saying it was solely his decision as he did not want to let his team down.

The left-hander aggravated his injury and subsequently missed out on India’s tour of the West Indies, sparking off a debate on whether players prefered to play in the cash-rich IPL over national duty.

“Andrew Leipus was assessing me throughout the IPL and I had got this injury during the World Cup final. We went for an MRI scan and the report came on April 24 and this match was on 25th. Andrew’s first reaction was that ‘let’s discuss the report’ but I said, I want to play whatever the injury, whatever happens,” Gambhir said.

“I did not want to let my team (KKR) down. And I felt that was a right decision. It was my decision.”

Gambhir also insisted that his decision to skip the West Indies tour for rehabilitation made sense and was in the interest of the team.

“Looking at the big picture, the doctors had said that if the injury is aggravated, I might require surgery. People talk about country, and I was thinking only of the country when I decided to take four weeks of rehabliatation instead of going for a surgery.”

“I would have required six months rest, had I undergone surgery and would have missed a lot of cricket. So it was better to take this four-week rest than missing out on the game for six months,” he told NDTV.