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‘I will stand for each teammate on the ground’ – Naveen-ul-Haq extols Gautam Gambhir’s mentorship, calls him a cricket legend

LSG lost to MI by 81 runs in Eliminator.

Naveen ul Haq

Naveen-ul-Haq, the fast bowler for the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, recently expressed his admiration and respect for his franchise mentor, Gautam Gambhir. Naveen, who delivered an exceptional performance in the Eliminator clash against the Mumbai Indians (MI), spoke highly of Gambhir and acknowledged the invaluable lessons he had learned from the former Indian opener.

Having played alongside Gambhir during his IPL stint, Naveen commended the legendary cricketer’s contributions to Indian cricket and emphasized the respect he commanded in the country. As a mentor and coach, Gambhir has left a lasting impression on Naveen, imparting knowledge and guidance both on and off the field. The young Afghan cricketer acknowledged Gambhir’s influence in shaping his approach to the game, appreciating the insights he gained into how to conduct himself both inside and outside the cricketing arena.

“To be honest, it [his season] was good. We could’ve done better as a team. Individual performances don’t count. At the end of the day, our team goal was to win the trophy. My individual performance comes second. It was a good season for me, I learnt quite a few things from this IPL and hopefully [I’ll] come back stronger,” vowed the Arghan player

Everyone should back their own players- Naveen

Naveen’s praise for Gambhir extends beyond their professional relationship. The incident involving a heated exchange between Naveen and Virat Kohli, during which Gambhir supported his player and engaged in a spirited argument with the former Indian captain, highlights Gambhir’s unwavering support for his team. Naveen emphasized the importance of backing one’s teammates, regardless of their role within the team, and acknowledged Gambhir’s commitment to standing up for his players.

“Everyone should back their own players. Mentor, coach, player or anyone – I will stand for each teammate on the ground and that’s what I expect from each individual also. He (Gambhir) has been a legend for India; he has huge respect in India. He has given so much to Indian cricket,” said the right-arm pacer.

“As a mentor, as a coach, as a legend of cricket, I respect him a lot and have learnt so many things from him – how I should go about my cricket inside the field and same thing outside, ” concluded the LSG speedster.

Despite LSG’s failure to clinch the IPL trophy in 2023, Naveen reflected positively on his personal performance throughout the season. While acknowledging that individual achievements are secondary to team success, he expressed gratitude for the learnings he acquired from the IPL experience. With 11 wickets in eight matches, Naveen showcased his talent and potential, vowing to return stronger in the future.

Naveen-ul-Haq’s admiration for Gautam Gambhir and the invaluable lessons he learned from the Indian cricket legend exemplify the positive impact mentors can have on aspiring players. Gambhir’s support and guidance, combined with Naveen’s personal growth and performance, form an integral part of LSG’s journey in the IPL, fostering a culture of unity, resilience, and development within the team.

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