New Delhi [India], Apr 28 (ANI): Everybody knows that veteran Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir is a very passionate cricketer, who loves his country more passionately.
Time and again, Gambhir has openly raised his voice on social media and called for action to be taken against those who attack India's security forces - be it the Border Security Forces (BSF) or Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Earlier this month, the left-handed batsman had condemned the video in which a security personnel was seen being roughed up by a youth while he was returning from a polling booth in Srinagar and had said at least 100 jihadi lives must be taken for every slap on an Indian soldier's face.
Expressing his anger towards the same, Gambhir wrote on Twitter, "For every slap on my army's Jawan lay down at least a 100 jihadi lives. Whoever wants Azadi LEAVE NOW! Kashmir is ours. #kashmirbelongs2us."
Recently, following the attack by the Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district in which 25 CRPF jawans lost their lives, the 35-year-old asked for action and response in retaliation to the loss of lives.
He even pledged to bear the educational expenses of the children of the paramilitary personnel, who were killed in the attack.
Now, in a post for his franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Gambhir wrote how hollow he felt after Wednesday's attack.
"I can even watch and enjoy a cricket match being played between associate nations. I just love this game. But some incidents shake me so hard that I lose context of playing cricket. Our last game on Wednesday was one such day where I experienced the hollow feeling," his post read.
"The recent CRPF attacks in Chhattisgarh were still fresh in my mind. On Wednesday morning I picked up newspapers and saw gut-wrenching pictures of the daughters of two CRPF men killed in the latest attacks. One of them was saluting her martyr father while in the other picture the howling young woman was being consoled by her relative."
"We were to play against Rising Pune Supergiant in the evening. As the day went on and I was going from selection meeting to batsmen's meeting to bowlers' meeting the pictures kept growing on me. I thought to myself how does it matter to the families of those 25 CRPF men whether KKR won or lost. I spoke to few close people about it and their advise was try to shut out these incidents and do my job. Hell," he added.
The KKR skipper further revealed that this was not the end of the story.
"I kept thinking and decided a few things. First, my team KKR would play with black arm bands to express solidarity with mourning families. Second, Gautam Gambhir Foundation will take care of the entire education expenses of the children of these martyrs. My team has already started work on this and I shall soon share progress we have made. I was little bit at ease when I reached the ground," he said.
"Winning the toss helped me a bit to readjust my focus. I was trying to push Chhattisgarh in the background as the first ball was about to be bowled. But it was just not leaving me. After a point I gave up as the images were too strong and I knew they'll only go with time."
"My colleagues were fielding poorly. In normal course it would have infuriated me no end but at the back of my mind Chhattisgarh was shouting, "It is just a game". Bang, four and I was transported to present," he added.
The left-handed opener also praised Kuldeep Yadav for his courage, saying, "I was also proud of Kuldeep Yadav's courage. Bowling to MS Dhoni didn't faze him one bit. I think Monty Panesar summed it up really well in a tweet. He said, "@imkuldeep18& @robbieuthappa have a story for their grandchildren 'Dhoni st Uthappa b Kuldeep!' It won't have been a bad idea if Kuldeep had requested MS to sign the match ball and preserved it for life."
"These are the reasons I love this game - team work and selflessness. For the same reasons I love armed forces too, although the quantum of losing a dear one while serving the country can never ever be compared to losing a cricket match," he concluded. (ANI)