Mumbai: Saturday’s Indian Premier League game between Pune Warriors India and Kolkata Knight Riders here has plenty at stake, despite PWI not being in contention for a place in play-offs.
For KKR, a win would mean an assured top-two finish and consequently a chance to play their first playoff game at the same venue three days later. For PWI, a win would ensure that they won’t finish at the bottom. And then, there is that emotional issue, of this being Sourav Ganguly’s farewell IPL game, as a player. Or, it may be not. “It’s just another game for me,” Ganguly said on Saturday.
Ask him about team owner Subrata Roy’s comments last week, in which he said that this is Ganguly’s last IPL season as a player, and the southpaw has his own story about it. “I don’t know what Mr. Roy has said, what he has been quoted as saying and whether they had shown the full interview or just part of it. Don’t forget, IPL contract is for three years,” the 40-year-old, who is into the second year of his contract with PWI, said.
“Next year is quite far away. I can’t think about whether I would be playing or not, 365 days is a long time,” he said at Poona Club, the venue chosen by PWI for their Saturday’s practice. So, we have had Ganguly going public that he would play a game, which he actually didn’t. Then we have had PWI stand-in skipper Steve Smith saying that Ganguly would not play the last three games, only for Dada to lead the PWI side against Rajasthan Royals 48 hours later.
We have had team owner saying Ganguly would not play next season, only for the former national skipper to deny it, in his own way. And wait, it doesn’t end there. “Definitely” he said, when asked if he would play today’s game. Is there another ‘turnaround’ in store for us?