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Former Indian cricket captain, Sourav Ganguly has asked fans not to start comparing the newly conceived Indian Super League to the Twenty20 (T20) juggernaut of the Indian Premier League (IPL) just yet. The elegant left-handed batsman, fondly called the Bengal Tiger in his playing days, also spoke of how he was not looking at his investment from a business perspective.
In an interview with goal.com, Ganguly said, “Don’t compare it with IPL. Don’t compare it with cricket. I’m being honest. But as we say, it’s the start of something. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, things will improve.”
Ganguly purchased the Kolkata side along with a group of investors that includes in Sanjiv Goenka, Harshvadhan Neotia, Utsav Parekh and Atletico Madrid. He said that they are aware that it would not be easy to recover their investment in the ISL. “When we met at Sanjiv [Goenka]’s house two-three weeks ago, the first thing that Sanjiv asked Harsha [Neotia] was whether he was interested in putting money to lose. It’s like this even today. Yes, we have ideas about our franchise in the long run. It’s the start of something which, hopefully somewhere down the line, we will be able to make it big, but we are not looking at it from a business perspective purely. We pray that all the money that we put in gets recovered. But it’s not going to be easy,” said Ganguly.
Ganguly went on to say that while infrastructure is certainly important, pure talent will always find a way to shine. “Infrastructure, of course is important. At the end of the day, you need a good ground, a net, a ball and a set of good players who are willing to play. That’s what creates good footballers. It is true for all sports. When I and Sachin [Tendulkar] started playing cricket, we used to play most of the matches on matting wickets. Yet, those facilities have produced some of the greatest. When we talk about Maradona or Pele, I’m sure facilities at that time were not as good as they are today. Yet, the best players were produced in those conditions. It’s not rocket science and we need time and keep improving what is available now.”
Ganguly concluded by saying that he hoped the Kolkata franchisee would play all their home matches at the Salt Lake Stadium. “We hope to be able to use the Salt Lake Stadium as a venue, though nothing has been finalised as yet. Give us time, only then things will fall into place,” he said.
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