Kolkata: The spotlight will be on Sourav Ganguly even as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) look to seek home comfort against Delhi Capitals in their Indian Premier League (IPL) return fixture at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.
Former India captain and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Ganguly is donning the hat of an adviser at Delhi Capitals, and is expected to sit in the away team’s dugout despite a conflict of interest complaint against him.
According to reports, Ganguly, who knows the Eden turf like the back of his hand, is likely to depose in person before the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) ombudsman regarding the matter as Justice (Retd) D.K. Jain might just want to hear him out before taking the final call.
Three Kolkata based fans — Bhaswati Santua, Ranjit Seal and Abhijeet Mukherjee — in a letter to the BCCI Ombudsman-cum-Ethics-Officer Jain alleged that Ganguly’s dual role is a case of conflict of interest, and they fear he might have it his way with the pitch curator ahead of the game.
Ganguly, however, in his written reply to the Ombudsman’s notice, has categorically denied the charge.
The former India skipper sent in a mail, which read: “At present I do not hold any post whatsoever or howsoever in the BCCI. I am neither a member of the Apex Council of the BCCI nor an office-bearer nor a member of any of the Cricket Committees constituted by the BCCI under its Constitution.
“I am also not connected with the administration, management or running of the IPL by being a member of any of the committees or other organisational units set up by the BCCI in connection with the IPL. Previously I had been a part of the BCCI Technical Committee; the IPL Technical Committee and the IPL Governing Council.
“I have resigned and/or withdrawn myself from all the said Committees. I am not a part of any committee/council/entity which has control or supervisory power or powers of management or administration of the IPL,” he clarified.
Speaking to IANS, KKR CEO Venky Mysore said that Ganguly knows his duties and role well and there was no reason for KKR to be worried. “He is a thorough professional. He knows how to do his duties well. He’s fully supportive of what we are doing. We have no issues at all,” the KKR CEO said.
Coming to the tie, Delhi will fancy their chances against KKR after registering a confidence-boosting four-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last outing.
Captain Shreyas Iyer led from the front with a matured 67 after ace South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada returned figures of 4/21 to dent RCB’s charge.
Young Prithvi Shaw also looked in sublime touch when he hit five consecutive fours off Tim Southee, each of which was a shot to savour.
A chink in Delhi’s armour though has been Shikhar Dhawan’s woeful form and the World Cup-bound opener would like to get some runs as early as possible.
Coming to the home team, KKR were outplayed by Chennai Super Kings in their last game despite Andre Russell once again starring for them with a patient 44-ball 50. None of the other batsmen got going, and even with the ball looked flat against the Chennai batters.
Rabada and Co. will have their task cut out against Russell but KKR would like their other batsmen to get runs to reduce the pressure on the West Indies all-rounder.
On the bowling front, the spinners are yet to fire for the purple brigade who have traditionally relied on them.
It was a thrilling Super Over that decided the tie in their first meeting this season, with Delhi riding another Rabada special in that one over to victory.
Russell had smashed a whirlwind 28-ball 62 to help KKR post 185/8 but Shaw scored 99 to tie the game for Delhi before Rabada bowled perfect yorkers to defend 10 runs and seal the deal.