Kolkata: Ignored at this year’s IPL auctions, former India captain Sourav Ganguly made a dramatic return in the cash-rich league on Tuesday signing for Pune Warriors India in place of an injured Ashish Nehra.
“I was approached by them on Monday and I’ve confirmed about my availability to them. I am leaving for Mumbai on Tuesday and the details will be announced there,” Ganguly told reporters here. Ganguly is however unlikely to feature in Pune Warriors’ match against Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.
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Ganguly, who was captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the first and third season was given a cold shoulder by Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise as well as nine others who didn’t bid for him during the auctions.
File Photo: AFP
The Pune Warriors are in the midst of a disastrous campaign having lost six consecutive matches under Yuvraj Singh’s captaincy. With the batting looking depleted, the new franchise couldn’t have thought for a better replacement as Ganguly brings with him vast experience.
Confirming the development, Pune Warriors team director Abhijit Sarkar told news agency that roping in Ganguly was not a gamble and he would prove his worth with the former India captain being the “best cricketing brain” in the country.
“He is playing in IPL not for money but to prove a point. He deserves a lot of respect, but not the way he has been treated (by Kolkata Knight Riders)... He is the best cricketing brain in the country. Taking Ganguly is not a gamble,” Sarkar explained.
Sarkar said their side was plagued by a lot of injuries and they thought of Ganguly.
“At the start of the tournament, Angelo Mathews, the best allrounder, was ruled out. Australian T20 vice-captain Tim Paine, South African skipper Graeme Smith too are injured, while Ashish Nehra too was battling with injury. We waited for the Nehra’s fitness report that came on Monday.”
“We have been in talks for last two three days. Our team think-tank felt that Sourav Ganguly is the best possible option available so we went for him. He has been a fighter and a master of comebacks. We are very much confident that he will prove his worth.”
Sarkar however said Ganguly would not be available for their next match against Mumbai Indians at Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.
“We welcome him on board. He is joining the side (in Navi Mumbai) this evening and will train with the coach and support staff. I don’t think that he will be playing in our next match (against Mumbai Indians) on Wednesday.”