‘I wasn’t the problem’: Sourav Ganguly reveals what went wrong at Kolkata Knight Riders
The team came 6th in the inaugural season while Ganguly faced some issues with the team management. KKR’s Australian coach John Buchanan employed a multiple captaincy policy and it did not produce the best of results in the initial few years of the league. KKR ended up last in the second season as Buchanan was sacked by the franchise.Updated: Jul 10, 2020 13:22 IST
Sourav Ganguly was a star player when the first season of the Indian Premier League took place in the 2008, and it was no surprise that The ‘Prince of Kolkata’ was selected as the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise. With the former India captain leading the side, fans expected fireworks from KKR from the get go. But that did not happen as KKR finished 6th in the inaugural season while Ganguly faced some issues with the team management. KKR’s Australian coach John Buchanan employed a multiple captaincy policy and it did not produce the best of results in the initial few years of the league.
KKR ended up with a wooden spoon in the second season after which Buchanan was sacked by the franchise. Ganguly came back as captain in the third season but KKR still ended up outside the top-four. Eventually, Gautam Gambhir took over from Ganguly in 2011 and led KKR to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014.
Ganguly, who currently holds the position of the BCCI president, opened up on the problems he faced at KKR and revealed that he had also asked SRK to provide him with the freedom to navigate the team.
“I was seeing an interview where Gautam Gambhir had said Shah Rukh Khan had told him in the fourth year ‘This is your team, I will not interfere.’ That’s what I told him in the first year. Leave it to me. It didn’t happen,” Ganguly said in an interview with Gautam Bhattacharjee on his YouTube channel.
“The best IPL teams have been those that have left the team to the players. Look at CSK, MS Dhoni runs it. In Mumbai also, no one goes up to Rohit Sharma and tells him to select certain players,” Ganguly said.
“Thought process was the issue there. The coach (John Buchanan) believed we needed four captains. So it was just a difference of opinion, he thought, ‘Let me have 4 captains, then I can run it my way.’”
“The problems (with Buchanan) started towards the end of the first season. The problem was not me, the problem was the system of having one captain. We had Brendon Mccullum, we had x, we had a bowling captain, and I don’t know the captain for what else,” Ganguly said.
Gambhir had stated in a chat show last month that he received a lot of freedom from owner Shah Rukh Khan when he became captain. “This is your team, make it or break it, I will not interfere I just promised him one thing, I don’t know where it’s gonna happen but by the time I leave, whether it’s gonna be three years or six years, this franchise will be in a much better position,” Gambhir had said on Star Sports Cricket Connected chat show.
Ganguly left the KKR franchise after the third season and joined Pune Warriors India. He retired from the game in 2012. He is now the mentor of the Delhi Capitals franchise.