A New Beginning, A New Team

Durban: The Kolkata Knight Riders’ principal owner Shah Rukh Khan took quite a few questions on Sourav Ganguly’s exclusion and the franchise itself, in Durban, on Sunday.

The following are excerpts

If KKR have picked a good side

I think in T20s, it’s not enough to have a good side… It’s more about getting it right on that day. On the KKR team, I have read it and also talked to some of the players here… They feel that we have a good side, a good combination… Gautam Gambhir is wonderful, Jacques Kallis is one of my favourite cricketers in the world, then there is Yusuf Pathan, Brett Lee and some of the youngsters like Manoj Tiwary… Hope it’s all going to fall into place and things will be better.

His views on Sourav as a cricketer and if he is sad with what happened at the auction

I love him… He is my favourite player. Yeah, I feel very sad. I would like him to be a part of the KKR in some capacity or the other… Inshallah, we will. T20 is a different game, it’s a three-year process, the same team need to be retained. We have to develop local talent and the youngsters into a team. I think once we start, everyone will respect that.

If he’d like Sourav in an advisory role

I’d love him to be an integral part of KKR. You don’t have a team in Calcutta without Sourav in it. I’d speak to Dada when I get back…

Whether it will be tough for KKR to play in Calcutta without Sourav

What is important is we have to win the championship for Calcutta. I feel that as an owner of the team, I have let down the people of Calcutta in the last three years. We need to do better… Whatever it takes, we need to do better. I know Dada feels the same. Except for Dada and I, you will not find anyone who will want to win the IPL more for Calcutta. We need to do whatever is good for the team. It would be nice to bring the IPL (trophy) in Calcutta… It’s a passion and a dream. I hate losing… So, I need to make sure that we go and win. Dada will support us in that. I’ll support him… We love each other.

His role in the decisions

The cricketing decisions in KKR are taken by the cricketing team, which includes Dav (Whatmore) and Venky (Mysore). I think, I’m better as an owner, not as the runner of cricketing decisions. We need to play well for Calcutta. In the last three years, the team didn’t play well. I don’t like that… I feel very sad, very depressed. My children also don’t like that. I think we have a wonderful team. In fact, we had a wonderful team in the last three years too… Somehow we haven’t been able to get it together. Inshallah, it’s new beginning, a new team… I want to win the IPL for my children.

Finally, on the other teams’ choices

I shouldn’t comment on the other teams. There were almost 350 players, ten teams and their think tanks… Lots of permutations and combinations were involved. We don’t have a right to comment on the other teams’ pick. In the auctions, it’s difficult to confirm what you need to do… Depends on the money you have and on a lot of other things.

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