“I have been impressed with PM Modi's leadership and that is why I decided to join the party,” Gautam Gambhir said.

Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir joins BJP likely to contest LS polls from Delhi
news Politics Friday, March 22, 2019 - 13:30

Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Friday joined the BJP in the presence of Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad, ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. According to reports, the 37-year-old cricketer is likely to contest from one of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.

After receiving a warm welcome from the ministers on Friday, Gambhir addressed the media saying, “I would like to thank Ravi Shankar Prasad ji and Arun Jaitley ji for giving me this opportunity, to do something special for the country. I have been impressed with PM Modi's leadership and that is why I decided to join the party.”

Speculations were rife about the cricketer joining the BJP as he had been frequently commenting on issues of national interest and security in the social media. Even though he initially dismissed all speculations of joining the party, in an interview to a prominent news channel in January, the cricketer had dropped hints about his political aspirations.

“If I foray into politics, people shouldn’t vote for me because I have played cricket for the country. They should not vote for Gautam Gambhir who runs the foundation. They should not vote because I tweet on certain issues. But instead, vote if they believe I can make a change in their lives,” Gambhir had said then.

Gautam Gambhir was conferred the Arjuna Award, India's second highest sporting award, in 2008 by the President of India. In 2009, he held the top spot among batsmen in ICC Test rankings. The former opening batsman was also conferred the fourth highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri, earlier this year.

A resident of Delhi, Gambhir made his one-day international (ODI) debut for India in April 2003 against Bangladesh and went on to play 147 ODIs for the side. He played an integral part in India's wins in the finals of both the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup.

He also appeared in 58 tests for the country with a highest score of 206, before playing his last test in November 2016. 

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