Bangalore, Sep 29: Last September, India opener Gautam Gambhir was "completely devastated" following a "personal tragedy". Now, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain has spoken about that phase, which according to him was "the most difficult one" after losing two of the closest people in his life.
In September, 2013, Gambhir was away from India, playing for English county side Essex. However, he had to leave England after the news of a personal tragedy.
But, a determined Gambhir returned to play for Essex again. "This phase was the most difficult one of my life, not only from the cricketing point of view but also personal. I lost two of the closest people in my life within the span of a year," Gambhir told CLT20's official website when asked about the incidents in 2013 when he was also out of the Indian team.
"I was trying to get my career back on track by going to England and playing for Essex. I scored a century and I began to regain my confidence, started to believe again.
"Just then I got the news of the death in the family. I had to fly back home and miss two championship games. The hardest part was when I had to go back to England just four days after the tragedy," the left-hander said.
"My wife couldn't travel with me because she had to be with the family. I was on my own there, coping with the loss while trying to resurrect my career. It was a very difficult time. But then these are the times that teach you a lot about yourself. Until you go through these experiences, you will never know how mentally tough you are," he added.
Gambhir said that it would have been "unprofessional" if he had not gone back to England to fulfill his contract with Essex.
"It would've been easy for me to just stay at home. I also got a call from Essex saying it was okay if I didn't go back. But that would have been very unprofessional of me.
"I also wanted to test myself as to how mentally strong I was, whether I could concentrate on my cricket and play for Essex with the same passion despite what I was going through personally. That was the question I asked myself. My family supported me and in fact encouraged me to go back. I emerged stronger from that experience," he explained.
Gambhir also says how he misses his coach Parthasarthi Sharma, the former India batsman. Sharma passed away in 2010 at the age of 62.
"In my cricket, the only person I have missed like crazy is Mr. Parthasarthi Sharma. I haven't found anyone with whom I can discuss my game like I did with him. That is one void I will never be able to fill in my life. I haven't missed anyone like I have missed him in the last couple of years. He was the man who made me feel sure about my game, which is so important for me. But again, this loss has taught me how important it is to believe in yourself without depending on anyone.
"In this short span of time, I lost my coach, two of the closest family members and I got dropped. Everything happened in the blink of an eye. Just a year back everything was hunky dory."
Despite all those personal setbacks, Gambhir was back on the field, leading KKR to the Indian Premier League (IPL 7) title this year and has now taken them to the semi-finals of the ongoing Champions League T20 (CLT20).
The skipper will be hoping to complete a double this week.