In IPL Auctions which took place on last weekend, Gautam Gambhir was sold for 11.04 crore, Out of form and out of India’s WC probable team Irfan Pathan was sold for 8.6 crore and Australian Domestic Player Daniel Christian went for more than 4 crores. But the main highlight of the auction was that former Indian and Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain Sourav Ganguly remained unsold as he did not find any takers in IPL Auctions.
Sourav Ganguly, who retired from International Cricket in November 2008, played all the 3 seasons of IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders and led the side in the 1st and the 3rd edition. KKR is the only side which has not played semi final of the IPL. The team played well in the season 3 but could not make it to the semis because of the net run rate. But Sourav Ganguly’s performance was good and he was the highest run scorer for his side by scoring 493 runs in 14 matches at an average of 37.93 and with the strike rate of 118.66. He scored more runs than the players like Mahela Jayawardene whoc scored 2 centuries in IPL-3, Andrew Symonds, Saurabh Tewary, Yusuf Pathan, Robin Uthappa etc. But Cricket is a team game and an individual can’t win a game for you evetrytime. The same thing happened at KKR as Ganguly did not get enough support from his other team mates. Well some might say that strike of 118.66 is not good but it is wrong because when you have the players like Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, David Hussey, Manoj Tewary, etc a team needs someone who can play steadily at the other hand. I feel that as of now he is a better T20 player than Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and even Mohammad Kaif. I am sure his exclusion from the IPL is not because of the Cricketing Reasons.
One of the owner of the Kolkata Knight Riders and the one who thinks that he is the face of the IPL, Shahrukh Khan has said that he will find a good role for Dada in Kolkata Knight Riders. I don’t know about the supporters outside Kolkata, but in Kolkata people support KKR because of Sourav Ganguly and not because of SRK. If KKR has registered maximum number of merchandise selling, that is because of Sourav and not because of Shahrukh. May be ego clash between SRK and Dada could have caused this as both of them carries King’s attitude but SRK should not have interfered because Ganguly has a better cricketing mind than SRK. Some say that Sourav has not played Cricket for a year now and that could be the reason but he did play in one of the Ranji matches and was supposed to play in the shorter format of the domestic games. Even the players like Chris Gayle and Sanath Jayasurya remained unsold but that is because of availability issues and because of being foreign player. Even the former Indian captain Kapil Dev has said “Lot of other reasons are there. I don't think merely on cricketing basis, he is not there. It's not on purely cricketing basis (his exclusion),".He also said “I always felt that Ganguly should be the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders otherwise he should not be playing. Because of his nature, commitment, determination and the way he works with the team or what he did to the Indian team, this all makes a lot of difference.” I guess all these things mentioned here suggest that Dada’s exclusion is not because of the cricketing reasons. He still has to offer to the team in IPL.
If anyone still doubts, I guess he or she doesn’t need to check his bating statistics but watch the 2 spectacular catches that he had taken in last year’s IPL.