In 2005, when Ganguly was dropped from the team, the whole of Bengal erupted in protests © Getty Images
In 2005, when Ganguly was dropped from the team, the whole of Bengal erupted in protests © Getty Images


By Bhanusmita Banik


Sourav Ganguly, captain of Team Pune.


– Sourav Ganguly, reserve opening batsman for Royal Challengers Bangalore.


If you are a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fan and if you have relentlessly debated and ranted over Ganguly’s “unsold” stature over the past few days, then hold on! Read the above lines again… Does that make you feel any better? Obviously not!


For the past couple of months, the Indian media grapevine has been bringing news of Ganguly’s likely exclusion from the KKR team. I believe Ganguly was more than ready to join some other franchisee. I wonder how we would have received that piece of news. With candle march, may be!


In an era when Indian cricket is managed by ‘Business Council for Cricket in India’ (BCCI), should we not receive such developments with greater maturity?


Eden Gardens and Kolkata have always been very emotional, but I think it’s high time that we grow up as a community. In 2005, when Ganguly was dropped from the team, the whole of Bengal erupted in protests. I would not deny the fact that even I was disappointed, but that doesn’t justify the action of the Eden Gardens spectators to support the South African full throttle and boo the Rahul Dravid led Indian team.


Kapil Dev has rightly said that the omission of Ganguly from IPL 4 is not “purely on cricketing basis”. I believe it’s his attitude that is to be blamed for his exclusion from the fourth edition of IPL, despite being the fourth highest run-getter and scoring four half centuries in the earlier edition.


He has been a problem creator right throughout his cricketing career – be administrators/owners/players/coach of each and every team he played with, be it Indian Team, KKR or Lancashire, for that matter! There is no denying this painful truth.


I wonder how Ganguly and his fans would have reacted if he was asked to play under Gautam Gambhir in the forthcoming IPL. That would have sparked another controversy!


Under the limelight of the most high-profile owner in IPL, KKR had its share of controversies and gossips in the earlier editions. Wouldn’t it makes sense to focus on cricketing matters rather than personal issues, given the fact that KKR till now has been the most unsuccessful team and have never qualified for the semi-finals?


The people of Bengal have adored and worshipped Ganguly for years. It would have been a wonderful gesture had he withdrawn from the auction – and not increased his base price – to prevent him being bought by any other team. This would have been a great way to pay back the people of Bengal for their love and support they have showered on him over the years.


I still wonder how his supporters would have reacted watching the ‘Prince of Calcutta’ fighting for some other team?!


(Bhanusmita Banik has been a passionate cricket fan all through her life. A graduate with Comparative Literature and an MBA in HR, she so passionate about the game that she has never missed an international cricket match at Eden Gardens in the past seven years)