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Atletico to play in city: Sourav

Calcutta: La Liga holders and Champions League finalists Atletico de Madrid will play in the city, before the Indian Super League (ISL) starts rolling, in the latter half of September.

In all probability, Atletico’s visit will be prior to the start of the Spanish season, scheduled for August 20.

The Madrid giants co-own the city-based franchise, Atletico de Kolkata, which is to feature in the ISL.

“An exhibition match is planned — Atletico versus an Invitational XI. We’d like to field a strong Invitational team, to compete against Atletico... Idea is to have a good game,” Sourav Ganguly, co-owner of Atletico de Kolkata, told The Telegraph on Monday.

A distinguished former captain of India’s cricket team, Sourav had a meeting with Atletico’s key men during his trip to Lisbon last month, for the Champions League final.

Atletico lost to Real Madrid.

Back in the city after the family’s annual vacation in London (Lisbon was an add-on this time), Sourav said: “Our jersey colours will be red and white, the same as Atletico’s, and the logo has been finalised...

“Our focus now is on putting the Atletico de Kolkata team and the coaching staff together. We’re waiting for an update on the Fifa rules and a draft from IMG-Reliance, the promoters.”

Moving away from the ISL, Sourav, who is never far from the headlines, declined to comment on being made a part of the Justice Mukul Mudgal panel.

The panel will probe allegations against 13 individuals, including Narayanswamy Srinivasan, suspended as the Board president by the Supreme Court.

“I’ve only just been named in the panel... It wouldn’t be proper to say anything at this stage,” Sourav maintained.

The panel, it may be recalled, has been appointed by the Supreme Court.

As captain, Sourav had played a leading role in helping cricket in India quickly recover from the match-fixing scandal of 2000.

Fourteen years on, Sourav is wearing a very different hat, but the task is again cut out.