Asked Shah Rukh Khan for freedom of choice in KKR, didn’t happen: Sourav Ganguly

Ganguly played with the Knight Riders for three seasons before moving to the Pune Warriors.

Shah Rukh Khan and Sourav Ganguly
Shah Rukh Khan and Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian cricketer, in a recent interview, said that Shah Rukh Khan had given him the freedom for team selections during his stint for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). However, quoting the same interaction, Sourav Ganguly, who was the Knights’ skipper back in the inaugural season in 2008, had a different opinion.

Ganguly said that he wanted full freedom of choice in the Knight Riders’ setup, but he didn’t get it. He put forth examples of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI), which have MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma as skippers respectively, as the ones who give freedom to the captains.

Look at CSK, MS Dhoni runs it, says Sourav Ganguly

“I was seeing an interview where Gautam Gambhir said Shah Rukh Khan had told him in the fourth year ‘This is your team, I will not interfere.’ That’s what I told him in the first year. Leave it to me. It didn’t happen,” Ganguly was quoted as saying in an interview with Gautam Bhattacharya on his YouTube channel.

“The best IPL teams have been those that have left the team to the players. Look at CSK, MS Dhoni runs it. In Mumbai also, no one goes up to Rohit Sharma and tells him to select certain players,” the Prince of Kolkata stated.

Back in 2009, Ganguly was axed as the skipper of the Knights when John Buchanan was their head coach. The southpaw, who’s also the current BCCI president, talked about the four-captain theory and how he and Buchanan had differences in their thought processes.

“Thought process was the issue there. The coach (John Buchanan) believed we needed four captains. So, it was just a difference of opinion, he thought, ‘Let me have 4 captains, then I can run it my way’,” Ganguly added.

Ganguly and Buchanan didn’t share a healthy relation and it showed in KKR’s performances. In the first two seasons, KKR couldn’t make the top four. Ahead of the 2011 edition, the Knights also released Ganguly of his services after which he joined the Pune Warriors. Previously Aakash Chopra, who was a part of the Knights, said how Buchanan wanted Ganguly to be removed as KKR’s skipper.