New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lauded recently retired cricketer Gautam Gambhir for his contribution to the sport as well for his efforts to bring "positive difference in the lives of the lesser privileged".

Modi made a special mention of the contribution made by Gambhir during India's triumphant campaign at the ICC World Twenty20 2007 and the ICC World Cup (50-over) in 2011.

"Let me begin by congratulating you for your stupendous contribution to Indian sports! India will always be grateful to you for your memorable performances, many of which resulted in historic victories for our nation," Modi wrote in the letter which was posted by Gambhir on his Twitter handle.

Gambhir thanked Modi for his kind words.

"Thanks @narendramodi @PMOIndia for the kind words. Nothing of this would have been possible without love and support of our fellow countrymen. All these deeds are dedicated to our country," he said in the same tweet posted along with the letter.

Modi praised Gambhir's passion for the game.

"I am sure the journey was filled with both ups and downs but your dedication and persistence ensured that you began to play for the nation. Within a short span, you emerged as a dependable opener, who often took the team to flying starts," the Prime Minister said.

The 37-year-old Gambhir is one of the most outspoken sportspersons who does not shy away from voicing his opinions on several issues facing the nation.

"The firmness and frankness with which you have spoken about issues, especially relating to India's unity and integrity have endeared you to people across the spectrum," PM Modi said.

"Alongside your game, you have been at the forefront of several community service initiatives and this is extremely heartening to see. It is great when public figures show the way and devote time as well as resources towards bringing a positive difference in the lives of the lesser privileged," he said.

Gambhir made 58 Test appearances for India, accumulating 4,154 runs at an average of 41.95. His 147 ODI games fetched 5,238 runs, while in 37 T20Is, he scored 932 runs.