“Can I bring my girlfriend to the IPL?” - Gambhir recalls Narine's earnest request during their first meeting in 2012 [SK Match ki Baat Exclusive] 

CLT20 2012 Match 2 Group A - Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils
CLT20 2012 Match 2 Group A - Kolkata Knight Riders v Delhi Daredevils

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) mentor and former skipper Gautam Gambhir recently spoke about the bond he shares with stalwart Sunil Narine in the franchise set up and off the field. The iconic pair have been part of some of the team's iconic moments in their history, and they joined forced once again, in a new capacity, to deliver KKR their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title.

Apart from their undeniable quality as players, the duo were often known for their rather restricted personalities. Gambhir admitted that Narine is a similar character to him, given how they prefer to keep their emotions to themselves and largely stay away from the spotlight.

Gambhir recalled Narine's shy nature when he first came into the KKR setup ahead of the 2012 season.

"Me and Narine are similar characters, and so are our emotions. I still remember that when Narine first came into the IPL in 2012, it was in Jaipur, and we were going for practice, and I told him to come join for lunch. He was so shy that he did not say a single word during lunch, and the first question that he eventually asked was, 'Can I bring my girlfriend to the IPL?," Gambhir said in an exclusive interaction with Sportskeeda.

The pair shared a rare smile following KKR's 2024 IPL triumph and even lifted each other amid the celebrations at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

"I don't see him as a friend, I don't see him as a teammate, I see him as a brother" - Gautam Gambhir on Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine rose to fame following his heroics for KKR in the 2012 IPL, where the franchise secured their first-ever title. From being skipper Gambhir's match-winner with the ball, he also became his opening partner as the years progressed.

Gambhir termed Narine as a brother, and feels like the pair are just one call away after all they have been through together over the years.

"He was so quiet that first season, but now, we can talk about anything. He is like a brother to me. I don't see him as a friend, I don't see him as a teammate, I see him as a brother. If I need him or he needs me, I think we are just one call away, that is the sort of relationship that we have built. We do not get excited much, we do not show too many emotions, we are not flamboyant, we just do the job and come back," Gambhir added.

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding Gambhir's future with KKR because of his links with the vacant Team India head coach role, but the fans would wish to see the combination of Narine and Gambhir wielding magic together.

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