Gautam Gambhir left the Kolkata franchise ahead of the 2018 Indian T20 League. He was an integral part of the team from 2011 to 2017 and led the team in all these seasons. During this phase, the team won the title twice in 2012 and 2014. While they qualified for the playoffs in 2011, 2016, and 2017. In 2018, he went back to Delhi, the team he played for from 2008 to 2010.
Since then, the Purple Brigade has qualified for the playoffs only in 2018 and 2021. Apart from that, they finished outside of playoffs in 2019 and 2020 on the virtue of inferior Net Run Rate (NRR). In the ongoing Indian T20 League 2022, the team has finished seventh in the points table after losing eight out of 14 games played.
They had started well with three wins in the first four games but after this, things went downhill for the two-time winners. They lost five games in a row which meant that they needed to win all of their remaining five games to qualify for the top four clashes. They beat Rajasthan in the reverse fixture to keep their hopes alive.
However, they couldn’t keep their winning momentum going in the next game against Lucknow as they lost the game by 75 runs. They did give a glimmer of hope to their after winning against Mumbai and Hyderabad respectively. However, their chances of qualification had already died after the game against Lucknow. In their last game the reverse fixture against Lucknow, the team tried their best but lost the game by two runs.
This resulted in their elimination. Ironically, the first two playoff games were scheduled to be played in Kolkata. Lucknow, who are mentored by the former Kolkata skipper, Gautam Gambhir, are playing the ongoing Eliminator game against Bangalore. The game was delayed by the light rain. However, the rain stopped around 8 PM and the game has been started without any deduction in the overs.
Ahead of the game, some of the fans were spotted holding a placard that read ‘Bring Back GG to Kolkata franchise’. This placard shows that the fans are upset with the performances of the Kolkata team and are missing the leadership of Gambhir.
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