World Cup hero Gautam Gambhir on backfoot on political pitch


Cricketer-turned politician Gautam Gambhir, who is also the elected MP from East Delhi, landed in a fresh controversy on Wednesday. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) earlier in the day informed Delhi High Court about the ex-cricketer’s foundation unauthorisedly stocking and distributing Fabiflu medicine to COVID-19 patients. 

The development took place after the drugs’ body, which had earlier given a clean chit to Gambhir’s foundation, submitted a fresh report before the court. The former cricketer is not the lone minister embroiled in the controversy as it also includes Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Praveen Kumar, who as per reports, has also been found guilty of similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

However, this is not the first time when Gambhir has found himself in such a situation. The 2007 and 2011 World Cup-winner, have been attacked by the opposition members on several ocassions, with the one involving jalebi and air-pollution in the national capital, creating a major stir on social media. 

Gambhir himself had reacted to the jalebi jibe by AAP, which came after the former India batsman missed a meeting over Delhi’s air-polluton, and said: “If air pollution in Delhi increased due to my eating ‘Jalebis’ then I can give up eating them.”

“I was trolled within ten minutes and if the same hard work they had done on controlling pollution which they had done on trolling me, then the national capital would be breathing clean air,” the former cricketer was quoted as saying in multiple news reports. 

Gambhir has been vocal about the issues concerning the security of the country. The MP had also tweeted about the Naxal attack at Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur and Sukma districts in April this year, which claimed the lives of 22 security personnel. 

Gautam Gambhir’s political career

Gambhir rose to the political podium in the previous Lok Sabha election, which saw the ex-India cricketer outperform his Congress (Arvinder Singh Lovely) and AAP (Atishi) opponents. The 39-years-old had then fetched 6.96 lakh votes as compared to Arvinder’s 3.04 and Atishi’s 2.19 lakh. 

After the completion of a year, Gambhir also presented a ‘report card’ to the people of his constituency (East Delhi). His office released an official statement in this regard, which also boasted about the ex-cricketer’s work during the pandemic.

“A total of 5 lakh food packets, 2 lakh baby food packets, 40 thousand masks and face shields, 5 thousand PPE kits and 3 thousand bedding kits were delivered. In addition 12 hand wash stations were also installed at various locations of East Delhi.,” it read.

Gautam Gambhir’s cricket exploits 

The 39-year-old, who was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2008 and the Padma Shri in 2019, has been one of the top batsman in the Indian colours. A member of MS Dhoni’s World Cup winning side – 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup – Gambhir played an instrumental role in the team’s success on both ocassions. He was the leading run-scorer from the Indian contingent both the times, and his 122-ball 97 in the summit clash against Sri Lanka stands as one of his best knocks in international cricket.    

Gambhir also led the Indian Premier League franchise Kolkata Knight Riders to two title triumphs. He made his international debut in 2003 and has over 10,000 international runs across all formats (4154 in Tests, 5238 in ODIs and 932 in T20Is) under his name. In December 2018, the left-handed batsman took retirement from international cricket. 

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Sagar Biswas

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