Kolkata Knight Riders might have suffered their fourth consecutive loss in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but skipper Sovrav Ganguly still seems to enjoy a great fan following in the hometown of Kings XI Punjab.
The Mountview Hotel, where the Knight Riders are staying, is seeing a huge rush of fans, all waiting to have a glimpse of the former India captain.
Fourteen-year-old Mandeep Singh has paralysis from neck down but that hasn't stopped him from travelling some 100 km from Ludhiana to catch a glimpse of his favourite cricket star.
Mandeep is not alone. Sarabjot Singh has also come all the way from Amritsar to see 'Dada' take on Kings XI.
“I want to talk to him once and to have his autograph on my bat. He is my role model. Therefore I have missed my school to have his glimpse," the teenager said.
Another young fan, Mayank Singhal, said: “We have come from Amritsar to watch him playing. Yesterday we had got a chance to click photographs with him. He did not talk much but he was very warm while autographing.”
Subodh Sharma, an MBA student at Punjab University, said: “Even at this age he is vibrancy on the field. We don't see such energy among young cricketers. I am a hardcore fan of Knight Riders and want them to lift the IPL cup this time.”
At 37, Ganguly still enjoys a good female fan following.
“I am a fan Kings XI Punjab but today I want Knight Riders to win because it is led by Sourav. I am his ardent fan and have seen all his matches at Mohali,” said Malvika Roy, a 21-year-old college student.
Radhika Banerjee, an engineering student, feels Ganguly can never be replaced.
“He might have retired from international cricket but we still love him very much. There is no substitute for Dada. Today we wish him luck and want him to score maximum runs,” she said.
“Though Knight Riders have lost last few matches, today we want them to break their loosing streak. We have planned a big bash if Dada’s boys manage to outplay Kings XI Punjab,” Banerjee added.