Former India and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Sourav Ganguly may replace Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene as Kochi Tuskers Kerala skipper in Indian Premier League’s season 4, it has been reported.
No IPL franchisee had bid for Ganguly, who is tipped to make his debut against his former club on April 20.
It is believed Jayawardene will leave for Sri Lanka in the first week of May. Sri Lankan cricketers participating in the ongoing IPL have been asked to return home early to prepare for the national team’s tour of England that gets underway on May 14.
Having retired from international cricket, Ganguly, 38, continued playing in the IPL for the Kolkata team for the first three seasons. However, none of the 10 franchises showed any interest in him in the IPL auction for the fourth season of the League.
Ganguly led an MCC team in a Twenty20 match Pakistan at Lord’s last year and also captained MCC in the Emirates Airline Twenty20 tournament held in Dubai last month.
Interestingly, giant-killers Kochi Tuskers and KKR will face off at Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
In red hot form after back-to-back wins, Kochi Tuskers would be aiming to halt Kolkata’s three-match winning run.
After a couple of meek performances - against Royal Challengers Bangalore and fellow debutants Pune Warriors India - many wrote off Kochi as one of the weakest team in IPL Season 4.
But things have changed dramatically after two matches. After beating heavyweights Mumbai Indians and title holders Chennai Super Kings, Kochi have suddenly become giant-killers from underdogs.
In match where Sachin Tendulkar hogged the limelight with his first IPL century, Jayawardene and Co spoiled the maestro's party with a mind-boggling eight wicket win.
Up against another heavyweight in Chennai led by India's man of the moment Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Kochi showed the same intensity.
It was the fourth anniversary of IPL - the day on which McCullum hit that memorable 158 in Knight Riders' jersey - and the New Zealander once again ensured an easy win.
Knight Riders had a similar start to their campaign, losing to the guile of Super Kings in their first outing.
But the new-look side under Gautam Gambhir in the remaining three matches have showed why they are billed one of the favourites this time with three clinical wins - against Deccan Chargers (away) and Rajasthan Royals (home and away legs) - to take the pole position.
Having turned the tide in their favour, Knight Riders will have some anxious moments against the resurgent Kochi, which has a former Knight in their ranks in McCullum.