Ganguly to lead Kolkata in IPL

Saurav Ganguly is expected to lead Kolkata in the Indian Premier League, which kicks off on April 18

updated: February 20, 2008 08:30 IST
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All set to lead the Kolkata team in BCCI's multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League, Sourav Ganguly has turned his attention to roping in four key foreign players for the side which begins its campaign on April 18, the day the tournament kicks off.

Though a formal announcement on Ganguly's appointment as captain would be made after February 20, sources close to the former Indian skipper said he had a telephonic discussion with actor Shah Rukh Khan, who owns the team's franchisee.

Sources claimed that Shah Rukh, the owner of the Kolkata team franchisee Red Chillies Entertainment, requested Ganguly to select a team with players of his choice.

As per IPL rules, a team should have four local players and a maximum of four foreign ones.

Meanwhile, players like Shahid Afridi, Adam Gilchrist, Jaques Kallis, Brett Lee, Mathew Hayden are among those on Ganguly's radar as representatives from abroad.

"I would always like to have players like Gilly (Adam Gilchrist), Jaques Kallis, Hayden, Shaun Pollock, Lee, Shahid Afridi and Yousuf Youhana in my side," Ganguly said.

"Obviously, when one makes the team, he wants to pick the best side. I am no exception," he said.

Excited at the prospect of the league, Ganguly said, "I am excited about the IPL. I have played it during my County stint I am looking forward to the new challenge."

Among the recruits from other states, Indian captain MS Dhoni tops the priority list of the officials of the Kolkata team.

Meanwhile, Usha Uthup would be approached for singing the team's theme song.

With the league aiming to blend entertainment with some serious cricket, Bollywood and local film personalities are likely to be present at the team's home venue Eden Gardens during the matches.

Six stages are to be set up beside the ground for song and dance programmes.