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Some incidents shake me so hard that I lose context of playing cricket, says Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir during 2017 IPL auctionsKKR skipper Gautam Gambhir has time and again called for action to be taken against those who attack India’s defence forces – be it the Border Security Forces (BSF) or Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). After the attack in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district in which 25 CRPF jawans were killed, Gambhir asked for action and response in retaliation to the loss of lives. Recently, he also announced that he will bear the educational expenses of the children of 25 CRPF personnel killed in an attack by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.

Gambhir is known to be a passionate cricketer and his love for the country is also quite passionate. This was visible when he shared a post on the KKR website and revealed his insights on the attacks on defence forces affected his mind prior to a IPL game and how he ultimately tackled it.

In a post for the KKR, Gambhir wrote,” I can even watch and enjoy a cricket match being played between associate nations. I just love this game. But some incidents shake me so hard that I lose context of playing cricket. Our last game on Wednesday was one such day where I experienced the hollow feeling. The recent CRPF attacks in Chattisgarh were still fresh in my mind. On Wednesday morning I picked up newspapers and saw gut-wrenching pictures of the daughters of two CRPF men killed in the latest attacks. One of them was saluting her martyr father while in the other picture the howling young woman was being consoled by her relative.”

Gambhir went to say, “We were to play against Rising Pune Supergiant in the evening. As the day went on and I was going from selection meeting to batsmen’s meeting to bowlers’ meeting the pictures kept growing on me. I thought to myself how does it matter to the families of those 25 CRPF men whether KKR won or lost. I spoke to few close people about it and their advise was try to shut out these incidents and do my job. Hell.”

However, Gambhir revealed that this was not the end of the story. “I kept thinking and decided a few things. First, my team KKR would play with black arm bands to express solidarity with mourning families. Second, Gautam Gambhir Foundation will take care of the entire education expenses of the children of these martyrs. My team has already started work on this and I shall soon share progress we have made. I was little bit at ease when I reached the ground. Winning the toss helped me a bit to readjust my focus. I was trying to push Chattisgarh in the background as the first ball was about to be bowled. But it was just not leaving me. After a point I gave up as the images were too strong and I knew they’ll only go with time.”

“My colleagues were fielding poorly. In normal course it would have infuriated me no end but at the back of my mind Chattisgarh was shouting, “it is just a game”, he added.

Meanwhile, Gambhir also expressed satisfaction at his performance along with his team and wrote, “In the end I was satisfied that I also played some part in the win through my batting. To tell you the truth the credit for my innings should also go to Uthappa. I could ease myself in because he was taking risks and smoking them. These are the reasons I love this game – team work and selflessness. For the same reasons I love armed forces too, although the quantum of losing a dear one while serving the country can never ever be compared to losing a cricket match.