Aakash Chopra, the former Indian opener-turned commentator, has made startling allegations regarding former India and Kolkata Knight Riders captain Sourav Ganguly and former coach John Buchanan. Chopra has alleged that the former Australian coach wanted to remove Ganguly from the leadership role during his stint with KKR.
Aakash Chopra, who represented the Knight Riders in the opening two editions, revealed that while the relationship between the duo started on a bright note, it only went downhill as performances of the Shah Rukh Khan-led franchise nose-dived.
“When he came the first year, there was John Buchanan, Ricky Ponting was also there. Sourav Ganguly was the captain and I have seen this from close quarters. The relationship was alright, to begin with, it was good at the start,” Aakash Chopra said on his Youtube channel.
“But after that, it did not remain good. Because his way of working was different and Sourav had a different temperament. In the end, he also wanted to remove Sourav Ganguly from captaincy, which happened the following season. Because in the first season he came at No.6 and in the second season he came at No. 8, when Sourav was not the captain.” he added.
KKR coach Buchanan has his way: McCullum replaces Ganguly as KKR Captain.
— IPL Breaking News (@IPLbrk) April 17, 2009
With Kolkata Knight Riders ending at the bottom of the pile in the debut season, John Buchanan came up with a ‘multiple-captain’ theory ahead of the 2nd edition of the IPL. And, while the concept was red-flagged by the KKR team-management, Buchanan did have his way as Brendon McCullum eventually replaced the ‘Prince of Kolkata’ in the second season.
“It was an issue of man-management”- Aakash Chopra on John Buchanan
Unfortunately, KKR’s fortunes did not change as they endured another season of mediocrity, post which John Buchanan was let go of his duties. Sourav Ganguly was re-instated as captain for the 2010 edition but following another disappointing stint, he too was relieved of his duties in the 2011 mega-auction.
“Eventually, John Buchanan had to leave. Some of the things, because I was privy to that, were overstated. Like they said about making 3 captains, that was not the case. See, that’s what happens if one thing is wrong there is a Domino effect that everything is wrong, there was nothing good under his leadership,” Chopra added.
Aakash Chopra blamed Buchanan’s man-management skills for the failure in his relationship with Ganguly. He also questioned the former coach for bringing a huge entourage of family and friends when there was a clear restriction on the number of players who could travel.
“It was an issue of man-management. In fact, the thing in my mind against him was that he had brought together all his close friends, the whole family had come. That did not go down very well. On one side, you were counting the players while taking them and on the other hand a whole family was traveling as part of the support staff.” Chopra added.