The internal bickering of the Bangalore team is out in the open with team owner Vijay Mallya revealing that he was at loggerheads with captain Rahul Dravid and the outfit's sacked CEO Charu Sharma over players' selection for the Indian Premier League.
Mallya made it clear that he was not happy with the squad, currently languishing at the bottom of the IPL points table, which has been ridiculed as a Test team in Twenty20 jersey.
The liquor baron said he had some players in mind but Dravid and Sharma completely ignored them and went ahead with their own plan.
"I had my own list (of players) but the fact is Rahul Dravid and Charu Sharma had their own list and at the end of the day, I decided to take the back seat," Mallya told NDTV.
<b1>"I was very tempted to bid for players whom I wanted but they held me back. Obviously things have turned out differently," he said.
He said Sharma backed Dravid to the hilt and even in the second auction, where the captain was not present, the former CEO discouraged Mallya to buy players of his choice.
"When Rahul Dravid was not present in the second auction, I wanted to acquire some players but Charu Sharma was very tentative about them. I mean I bought Misbah-ul Haq because I was determined to do it. There were other players I was discouraged about," Mallya said.
On sacking Sharma and replacing him with former Test player Brijesh Patel, Mallya said, "Charu Sharma was appointed CEO because I thought he understood cricket and he would add value to the team and the entire Royal Challengers initiative."
Mallya said Patel's appointment was necessitated because he was tired of complaints that the team did not have good practice facilities in its base in Bangalore.
"When I was questioning the performance of the team, all I was told was that practice facilities are bad, then I was told there was no bonding in the team...So everything was blamed on a particular event or lack of infrastructure.
<b2>"So I said to myself things can't continue like this and I brought Brijesh Patel. He is the honorable secretary of the KSCA (Karnataka State Cricket Association) and who better a person to provide match facilities and whatever else the team needs at its base in Bangalore. He understands cricket as well," Mallya explained.
The flamboyant liquor-baron also made it clear that IPL had an unmistakable corporate face, which makes it evidently distinct from other tournaments.
"At the end of the day, people need to understand that the IPL has a corporate side to it, and a very definitive corporate side. It is not at all cricket in the traditional sense," he added.
Now that the team's semifinal hopes have gone up in smoke, Mallya expects Dravid and his teammates to win a few matches to salvage some pride.
"I want from Rahul Dravid to do the best for the team and to produce some good results for us because I don't think Rahul Dravid enjoys being at the bottom of the league tables, and certainly I don't." Mallya added.