‘I was literally coming from outside making that decision’: KKR CEO Venky Mysore recalls dropping Sourav Ganguly in 2011

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com
Aug 24, 2020 01:39 PM IST

IPL 2020: Before heading into IPL 2011, Kolkata Knight Riders decided to not retain former skipper Sourav Ganguly into the team.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly started his Indian Premier League career as the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders franchise in 2008. Playing at Eden Gardens in front of his home fans, the left-hander was one of the major faces of the franchise at the start of IPL. But unfortunately, KKR got off to a poor start under his captaincy, finishing at the 6th position in the first season, and then ending with a wooden spoon in the 2nd season.After KKR ended at the 6th position again in the 2010 season, the franchise decided to not retain Ganguly for the following season.

File image of Sourav Ganguly.(IPL)
File image of Sourav Ganguly.(IPL)

The decision was widely criticised by Kolkata fans who were unable to imagine that their hometown hero would be playing for another franchise in the tournament. KKR CEO Venky Mysore, who joined the franchise after the 2010 season, recalled how decision to drop Ganguly was not tough for him, but was a really difficult one for the owners.

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“I’ll break that down into two parts. Personally, for me, it didn’t see like a big decision (not retaining Sourav Ganguly), only because I was unattached. If I had been part of the organisation for three years, or two years or one year, it would have been a tougher decision,” Mysore said in the latest episode of ‘The RK show’ uploaded on Youtube.

“This was like someone completely coming in from the outside, which I was, literally from the outside. Eventually, I realised, that for the organisation and for the owners, it was tough. It’s a decision and an approach that I proposed as I was given the mandate,” he said.

Also read: Shane Warne recalls 2001 Eden Gardens Test

“I look back at it, and I basically said this, that ‘I don’t know if it’s the right thing or do or not, and we may fall flat on our face. But, it’s a different approach. Are we all on board with this?’ If I have to attribute whatever success we have had to one thing, it is the fact that the owners - Shah Rukh, Jay, Juhi - have stood behind the decisions I have proposed.  

“I am not a complete lone-ranger maverick who runs off and wants to do my own thing. But at the same time, my entire career, I was used to being given the autonomy to operate, to also be accountable at the same time. I used to report to boards,” Mysore said.

“But it could easily have been a micro-managing kind of situation, or second-guessing the decisions I have made, or saying that ‘yeah, but we made those announcements, but let’s not do that’. But they stood completely behind me. That is why they took a lot of flak for that and heat. As an organisation, it was tougher for them. But to be perfectly honest, it was not that tougher for me to make that decision,” Mysore further added.

KKR players led by Dinesh Karthik were one of the first teams to reach UAE with the 13th edition of IPL set to begin next month.

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