I couldn't handle the pressure: Gambhir
Indian veteran steps down as Delhi captain midway through the Indian Premier League seasons
26 April 2018, 07:45 AM AEST
Gautam Gambhir has stepped down as Delhi Daredevils captain and will also reportedly forgo his salary after his team lost five of their first six IPL matches.
Gambhir addressed the media on Sunday alongside coach Ricky Ponting and replacement skipper Shreyas Iyer, conceding the pressure of the role had got the better of him.
Having scored just 85 runs with the bat in six games, the 36-year-old added he would weigh up his future in the game at the end of the season.
"I was sitting alone and thinking, I couldn't handle the pressure ... I was not good enough and that is all," Gambhir said.
"As a leader of this ship, I take complete responsibility for where we are in the points table and I have decided to step down.
"Maybe the only thing I can point out is I was desperate to turn things around. Sometimes you are too keen, it just makes you hard on yourself. Maybe I just couldn’t handle the pressure which came with the position, responsibility I was given.
"I absolutely believe we got the group to turn it around. We still need to win seven out of eight (to make the playoffs), which is absolutely possible in this format. Teams have done it in the past, we have the capability to do that this year as well."
Gambhir and the franchise said the decision was his and he has not been sacked.
The left-hander captained Kolkata in recent seasons, making him a logical option to lead the Daredevils after he was picked up at this year's player auction.
"Maybe coming back to Delhi was an emotional decision as well, an emotional homecoming," he explained.
"Sometimes emotion gets the better of you and you get desperate to turn things around."
A story from Press Trust of India also reported Gambhir will forgo his salary, worth around $550,000 AUD.
"Gautam has decided that he won’t take any salary from the franchise for the season," PTI quoted a source as saying.
"He will play remaining part of IPL for the Delhi Daredevils for free.
"Gautam is someone who puts pride above everything else. He has been a proud performer. He doesn’t want to take any money and it’s a very personal call."
Coach Ponting, who as a player was replaced as captain of Mumbai midway through the 2013 season, said he felt for Gambhir.
"Just to back up what Gautam said, having been in the same situation myself a number of years ago, it’s a tough decision for anyone to make," Ponting said.
"As tough as it might be, it gives us a fresh start to this tournament, one on which we can start to make an impact with the talent we have."
Australian viewers can watch the 2018 season of the IPL exclusively on Fox Sports