A cricketer from Delhi, Gautam Gambhir started his political innings in 2019 after ending his stellar international career in December 2018. He contested the Lok Sabha elections 2019 on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from the Delhi East constituency, and registered an emphatic victory.
For Gambhir, who played a crucial role in India's historic 2007 World T20 final and 2011 ICC World Cup wins, the transition from cricket to politics has been breezy so far. Vocal on social media about political issues and matters of national importance, Gambhir gained a wide following not only among netizens but also off-internet voters.
During his illustrious cricket career, the southpaw played 58 Test matches and scored 4,154 runs in 104 innings at an average of 41.95, with the help of nine centuries and 22 fifties. His highest score was 206. In one-day internationals (ODIs), he scored 5,238 runs in 147 matches at an average of 39.68, with 11 tons and 34 fifties. The highest innings total was an unbeaten 150. In the 37 T20Is that he played, Gambhir scored 932 at an average of 27.41 and a strike rate of 119.02, with 7 half-centuries.
Ahead the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Gambhir had been a star campaigner for the BJP, and that gave him the exposure he needed before making an electoral plunge himself. He was among Delhi's richest candidates, with declared assets of over Rs. 147 crore. The BJP’s association with 38-year-old Gambhir in the national elections proved to be a win-win for both — while the party gained from his popularity as a cricketer, Gambhir benefitted from a wave in favour of the party and its leader Narendra Modi.
Gambhir won the Lok Sabha elections 2019 by 695,109 votes from the East Delhi constituency, where his key opponents were the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP's) star candidate Atishi and the Congress' Arvinder Singh Lovely.
Being a local Delhi boy, Gambhir is expected to be one of the prominent faces and voices for the BJP in the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections, to be held on February 8, 2020.