Mass support poured in from all quarters for city’s star son and former India captain Sourav Ganguly as more effigies of Shah Rukh Khan and Kolkata Knight Riders were burnt in the streets here today after all the 10 franchises had rejected the iconic cricketer for IPL IV.
Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee said the ace left-hander was a victim of politics by the private teams who had opted not to bid for Ganguly during the two-day IPL players auctions that eneded in Bangalore yesterday.
“It’s really sad and unfair that a player of Ganguly’s calibre was not allowed to play despite his wish. It was very clear from the auction that the IPL franchises intentionally did it,” Chatterjee said.
“Don’t forget that he is an immensely popular figure all over the world and that’s why he is called ‘Dada’ by his fans. He is the most successful Indian cricket captain and there should not be any doubt over his ability,” he said.
The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) also came in Ganguly’s and said the news came as a shock to them.
“We are shocked to hear this. The fan following of the team will definitely get affected without Ganguly. He is a big factor for KKR. Crowd will definitely lose interest in the team,” CAB joint—secretary Sujan Mukherjee said.
Carefully choosing his words, Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary, who has been bought by KKR, said: “It was very surprising to see that no team bid for Ganguly.”
Bengal wicket—keeper Wriddhiman Saha, who has been snapped by Chennai Super Kings, did not want to comment but said: “It would have been better if Ganguly was in the IPL.”
Table tennis star Soumyadeep Roy also batted for Ganguly, saying: “I’m a huge fan of Dada. I look up to him as a great sportsperson. I don’t know about the technicalities of auction but it’s a setback for me that I won’t get to see him in IPL IV.”
There was a mass outcry in the city with various groups burning effigies and posters of Kolkata Knight Riders principal owner Shah Rukh Khan, even as Ganguly remained incommunicado throughout the day opting to stay indoors at his Behala residence.
“No Dada, no KKR. Shah Rukh Khan is responsible for all this. We will boycott all KKR matches,” said a group in Maidan burning the Bollywood heartthrob’s poster.