Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) may not bid for Sourav Ganguly when players go under the hammer at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions in Bangalore over the weekend.
The franchise principally owned by Shah Rukh Khan will build the team afresh, having decided not to retain any player. When the auctions take place, they are set to go for some players they have not retained but Ganguly is unlikely to be on that list.
Not that the ability of Ganguly, KKR captain in the first and third years of the IPL, is doubted. It's just that the 38-year-old is not fitting into the team's long-term rebuilding plans after three disappointing seasons.
Ganguly top-scored for KKR last season with 493 runs in 14 matches at 37.92 with a strike rate of 117.66, but the team finished sixth. It finished last in 2009 and sixth in the inaugural edition of the IPL. It is the only team to have never qualified for the semi-finals. All editions of the IPL have had eight teams.
In their bid for redemption, members of the KKR management and coaching staff are looking beyond Ganguly. This appears to have been conveyed to the team owners, who are understood to have found the logic acceptable. No team official, however, was willing to comment on this.
How fans at Ganguly's hometown would react to not buying him was a concern for the team, but a late change of heart notwithstanding, KKR seems ready for the gamble at hand.
For the team, doing well in the next few years is important and the fact that Ganguly is nearing the end of sell-by date as a player is not going in his favour.
Ganguly has recently raised his base value from $200,000 (R 90.75 lakh) to $400,000 (Rs 1.85 crore).