Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) mentor Gautam Gambhir may not reprise his role as team mentor in the 2024 Indian Premier League (IPL) due to his involvement in the Lok Sabha Elections. Contrary to earlier reports, Gambhir is not in talks with any other franchise and is set to continue with LSG after the forced one-year break.
Gambhir is currently a Member of Parliament (MP) after securing a win in the East Delhi constituency during the 2019 General Elections. He had won by a landslide margin and has been a popular face for the political party in the capital city in recent years.
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) views him as a vital cog and he is bound to be a key figure in the campaigning preceding the election. A source tracking developments told CricketNext:
“Yes, Gautam Gambhir is likely to just take a break for the next IPL to political commitments. He is not moving to a different team or leaving franchises. There will be a lot of political work involved in the build-up to the Lok Sabha elections, so he wants to focus all his energies towards that.”
The source added:
“Gautam is a big face for BJP in Delhi and elsewhere also his popularity is right up there. So he will be actively involved in election work next year and will not have enough time for the IPL.”
The 2024 General Elections are likely to be contested in the months of April and May, which interferes with the IPL. The 2014 edition of the tournament saw its initial phase being held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to the elections in India.
Gambhir has guided LSG to the playoffs during his time as mentor
Gautam Gambhir was one of the first additions to the newly-founded LSG franchise in 2022. He played a key role during the 2022 mega auctions in assembling a formidable squad with KL Rahul at the centre. The side have performed well since their inception, securing a playoff spot in 2022 and 2023 but have failed to clear that hurdle so far.
The franchise recently made some alterations to their coaching staff in the off-season following the 2023 edition, where they finished fourth. They parted ways with head coach Andy Flower and brought in former Australia batter and head coach, Justin Langer. Recently, LSG even roped in former India chief selector MSK Prasad as their chief strategic consultant.