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Ex-players denounce decision

Calcutta: The Kolkata Knight Riders team management’s move to choose New Zealand wicket-keeper batsman Brendon McCullum ahead of Sourav Ganguly as the captain for the second edition of the Indian Premier League drew flak from former Bengal cricketers on Friday.

The Knight Riders play their first match in the tournament against Deccan Chargers in Cape Town on Sunday.

The following are excerpts (alphabetically)

Sambaran Banerjee: It’s an unfortunate decision. I have nothing to say. The team belongs to a franchise and you will have to listen to their instructions. But at the end of the day, it is the game of cricket that will be affected. I feel it is not at all a good decision. Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman faced this earlier and now it’s Sourav’s turn. They (KKR team management) are inviting crisis… I feel it’ll be difficult for McCullum to handle the players whom he hardly knows.

Gopal Bose: Frankly speaking, I knew this was coming… The writing was on the wall. The intention was quite clear when they did not announce the captain in India. Shah Rukh Khan always said that Dada is the leader of the team but he never cleared the confusion created by John Buchanan. I feel this is a conspiracy to oust Sourav… Buchanan wants Sourav out of the team now… The differences between them erupted last year. KKR are doing what they (the other franchisees) did to Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman. I feel they (KKR management) are not at all concerned about the performance of the team…. Captaincy is not the issue… they actually want to get rid of Sourav.

Deep Dasgupta: Firstly, I do not support the idea of multiple captains in cricket. And I feel this move to replace Dadi from the captain’s chair is a foolish decision. I really don’t see any reason behind it… In a big tournament like IPL, you definitely need the experience of Sourav Ganguly. Going by his performance in the last series he played, I feel he is still in great shape.

Devang Gandhi: We never expected this from the KKR management. They should have taken this decision much earlier and not at the stroke of the start of the tournament. If you ask me, I will never support this move.

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