Gautam Gambhir writes an article in the Times Of India briefing on his decision to step down as captain of DD..
My hotel suite on the 22nd floor has blinds covering vast glass windows. At the bottom of these blinds there is a white plastic rod holding them together. Those who know me hate the fact that I keep my room freezing cold. It was no different on Monday night when I returned to my room after we lost to Kings XI Punjab.
The air-conditoner was smashing on the blinds full tilt. It was around 1am and the silence in the room was only broken when the rod holding the blinds hit the wall. I don’t know if it was coincidence or God’s way of suggesting something but the sound of blinds hitting the wall had a striking similarity to the sound of a cricket ball hitting the stumps. Was it a sign that it was over?
Each time the rod hit the wall I was reminded of my dismissals this year… reminded my team was at the bottom of the points table. Each time, it seemed my conscience was spanking me. With just 85 runs in six games I can’t be leading DD. It was time for me to step down from captaincy.
It was almost 2am and I was having an animated conversation with a friend in my hotel room. He was trying to talk me out of this decision by pointing at my IPL records, reminding me that I scored a half-century in the first game of this season etc etc. I told him that I have dropped the likes of Colin Munro, Amit Mishra and Mohammed Shami after an odd bad game. By those standards, how can I be leading the team or be a part of the playing eleven after a string of single-digit scores? Friends and family are always blinded by love but I was searching for objectivity.
Against their wishes, I met DD promoter Kiran K Gandhi and the CEO Hemant Duaon Tuesday evening. I told them that I would like to step down from captaincy. Both these gents have a heart of gold and are passionate beyond words about DD. They care a lot about the players and support staff. No wonder our chat was full of concern and logic but above all utmost honesty. After conveying it to them I shared my decision with coach Ricky Ponting on Wednesday afternoon and then the entire team.
While I was writing this I was getting a sense that a certain section of the media was seeing Ponting as a trigger for my decision to step down. I don’t know where is it coming from. Maybe Aussie-bashing is the flavor of the season! Ponting is a fine guy. Maybe we are watching too many news channels/daily soaps and end up searching for conspiracies where none exist. It is a straight line, let us not speculate: It was MY decision to step down, no one pushed me into it.
There has been speculation about my future as a cricketer too. Well, there are no immediate plans to retire. My immediate plans include turning it around for DD, buying a nice gift for my daughter’s birthday on May 1 and moving out of my hotel suite as only the captains get to stay in them.