Sourav Ganguly, former Team India skipper and the current President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, is hailed a demi-god like figure in his home city of Kolkata.
No matter which team Ganguly represented during his career, his loyal fans always turned out in huge numbers even if it meant going against their home side.
Former Pune Warriors India director Abhijit Sarkar recently revealed an instance during an IPL game at the Eden Gardens between PWI and KKR when the entire stadium was cheering the Ganguly-led Warriors.
“When we went to Kolkata, the whole stadium was full of Pune flags and zero Knight Riders flags. We lost by very few runs but that was the popularity of Sourav. That was the beauty of the IPL. Kolkata was supporting Pune Warriors and not Kolkata Knight Riders.” Abhijit Sarkar told Sportskeeda.
How did Sourav Ganguly became the captain of Pune Warriors India? Abhijit Sarkar reveals
Sarkar also went on to reveal how Sourav Ganguly was made the captain of the side. The former Indian captain wasn’t even a member of the team when IPL 2011 began and it was only due to an injury to Ashish Nehra that led to his call-up.
Sarkar revealed that Yuvraj Singh was initially appointed as the captain for a three-year period but the ‘dissatisfaction’ around the team’s performance and his eventual health issues forced the management to rope in Ganguly as the leader of the pack.
“There was dissatisfaction about the team’s performance. Yuvraj came just after the 21 tried his best, according to his health limitations. But by the end of the year, we came to know the shocking revelation about his health and he was gone. We selected Yuvraj as the captain for the next 3 years.” Sarkar revealed.
“We selected Robin Uthappa, Angelo Mathews. Steve Smith was just coming up. Sourav kept telling me, ‘I still have cricket in me’. Who better than Sourav to bring the team together. We thought we will make him the captain and ultimately take over as the coach ” he added.
Sourav Ganguly assumed the duties of a full-time leader in the 2012 edition but he failed to revive PWI’s fortunes and was eventually of the role midway through the season.