Former Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly, who was ignored by all 10 franchisees at the recent auction of players for the forthcoming Indian Premier League, may be heading to the Kochi team.
While the team management has approached the Board of Cricket Control in India, the proposal needs to find no objection from the nine other teams since it would be an out-of-auction deal, reports Times of India.
While the IPL rules state that players can be bought only through open bidding, Ganguly’s case came up well after the auction was over.
Besides, West Indian cricket legend Brian Lara, Ganguly was among those former greats who found no takers at the auctions held in Bangalore 12 days ago. It has even irked his fans who thronged street corners in Calcutta to protest the way their hero was given the cold shoulder.
The fledgling Kochi team – inducted with Pune Warriors as the two new teams for the 2011 edition – has only one specialist Test grade batsman in VVS Laxman.
For Ganguly, though, it would be a resurrection of sorts and may be able to join his old Kolkata Knight Riders team mates Brendon McCullum, Brad Hodge and Owais Shah, besides Sri Lankan stars Mahela Jayawardene and Mutthiah Muralitharan, and his own pet pacer Sreesanth.
In fact, Ganguly was the loudest – among the few – in criticising the Indian cricket selectors’ decision to exclude Sreesanth from the Indian team for the upcoming World Cup to be played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The former skipper credited for picking the young Kerala pacer – who hails from Kochi – to play for India, had said it was an unwise decision to drop an “in-form” bowler.