Shah Rukh sir doesn’t really pressurise his team’s players: Shubman Gill

Back in 2018, when he was adjudged the Player of the Tournament at ICC U-19 World Cup, cricket pundits instantly sat up and took notice. Later, in 2019, Shubman Gill made his One Day International debut against New Zealand, followed by another feat — he became the youngest batsman for an Indian team, at 19, to score a double century in a first-class match.

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Now, one of India’s brightest cricketing stars, Gill — whose is currently in Australia for the upcoming cricket series — has found an ‘inspirational’ way to deal with all the fame and applause coming his way. “Honestly, for me, it’s easy to deal with all of that because, personally, it kind of motivates me even further to work more hard, in order to meet my own expectations,” says the 21-year-old Punjab cricketer, who represents Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Excerpts from an interview:

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How do you spend your free time when not playing cricket?

I usually spend it with my friends and family. While, sometimes, I go out shopping with friends, I also love to indulge — at times — in some PlayStation sessions with them. So, there’re a few things here and there that I like to do when I’m not on the field.

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Your father wanted to become a cricketer too but couldn’t, but he supported in you becoming one. So, he must be very proud of you now…

Yes, he wanted to be a cricketer. But honestly, I feel my father could have become whatever he wanted to because he is a really hard-working person with great discipline. But the situation and conditions were such that he wasn’t able to pursue the game. Now, he is extremely proud of me and feels great that I’m playing cricket at the highest level.

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Talking of IPL, what kind of an influence SRK has been? How has he been as the team owner?

As they say, ‘Shah Rukh sir needs no introduction.’ He is so humble as well as warm. Whenever we’ve got an opportunity to interact with him, I found him extremely polite. He is a kind of (team) owner who doesn’t really pressurise his players. He always says good things about us, and keeps us motivated.

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You are just 21. What kind of future do you see for yourself as a cricketer?

We (India) have a couple of series coming up. And if I get the chance to be a part of the playing eleven, I have set some goals for myself. I’m really excited about the test matches against Australia. But outside the game, I haven’t really thought too much about things. I want to enjoy each and every moment that life presents to me. I just want to live all those moments. I don’t want to think too far ahead.

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Do you love movies? Favourite films, actors?

Of course, I love to watch movies. And some of my favourite stars are Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh sir, Jim Carrey. Recently, I watched K.G.F and loved it (smiles). It’s one of my most favourite films.

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