‘If I was Sourav, I also would have been upset’


What prompted this bombshell?
What I see as a modern gameplan, the media sees as a move to oust Sourav Ganguly from the captainship. The idea of multiple captains is mine, and Sourav is fine with it. So, where is the problem? I actually do not see it as a problem, nor does Sourav, so why would the media get into this one?

Was it because of Ganguly’s fitness?
I have said it is a new gameplan the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will experiment in IPL’s second edition. Sourav’s fitness is not an issue. In fact, he cleared the fitness test last week.

Still, it’s a tough call to drop one of India’s most successful captains from the side.
It seems the media sees this as a problem, not Ganguly. This is how sports go all over the world. His job is to get runs, take wickets and inspire the team. Let him do that in peace. I am sure you all will enjoy seeing him in this new role. So, do not jump the gun.

But such a move is practiced nowhere in the world.
So, is there any harm in becoming a torch bearer? Why not lead the way? Why not show other teams that you are experimenting? Would you have played night cricket if Packer had not switched on the floodlights? I have told the management that I will take full responsibility if the concept flops. Let me tell you that I am going on the right track. I am clear about my concept. We have to see how it works out when the tournament gets off. The very nature of the Twenty20 game requires new thinking. This format brings new challenges, so it needs different thinking. If the captain gets out early, or is not satisfied with the decision, he will feel disturbed. The short game does not give you the time to recover. In such a case, a second captain can do a better job. Do not forget, cricket is actually in a major transition phase.

Won’t the move demoralise Ganguly?
I agree. If I was Sourav, I would have been upset. After all, he is the King of Kolkata and has a great fan following in the city and across the country, and also in South Africa. It will be interesting for him to be there in a new role. It was that same place where he sparkled as the skipper of the country in the 2003 World Cup. He is with me on this one. There are no problems between us. We had a long talk on this issue and Sourav was fine with it.

So who will go in as the captains?
We have plans to rotate the captaincy with Ganguly, Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle and Brad Hodge. But I have not finalised the names, so please do not jump the gun. We have not nominated a captain so far. And we will not nominate one, that’s for sure. These four captains will rotate, and do wonderful work for the side. Think about this one: When McCullum is behind the stumps, he will have a good idea of the field. So he can be a captain as far as the field placing is concerned. Think about Sourav directing some of the batsmen even when he is outside the field. These are extremely innovative things and critics need to appreciate that. Multiple captains will have multiple ideas. I am experimenting big and I do not see any harm in doing it.

What if it fails?
If it fails, it will be my mess. I will take the blame, no one else. I will be carrying the KKR cross throughout IPL2.