ISL: Ganguly to be with ISL franchise, will miss first 2 Tests
New Delhi: Struggling in the business end of the tournament, Atletico de Kolkata will be boosted by the presence of their team co-owner Sourav Ganguly as they make a bid to make the semifinals of the ongoing Indian Super League.
The cricketer-turned-commentator Ganguly yesterday said he would give the first and second Test in Australia a miss and instead travel with his ISL franchise to Pune.
"I will only go for the third and fourth Test. It's an important stage of the tournament with last four games to go before the semifinals. So I will be travelling with the team," Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of a promotional programme with team sponsors Aircel.
That would mean Ganguly will stay till the ISL summit clash on December 20 before resuming his commentary assignment for the India-Australia third Test beginning on the Boxing Day.
Earlier, team co-owner Utsav Parekh had said the former India skipper would give the embattled team a peptalk tomorrow at the team hotel, but Ganguly denied any such development.
"I will travel to Pune and hopefully we'll get three points. As of now, I'm not sitting with the players at this stage."
Lack of goalline technology had robbed ATK of a draw in Kochi as the assistant referee had ruled out a sure-shot goal in ATK's favour when Luis Garcia's stoppage time shot had crossed the line after coming off the cross piece.
The former India captain had earlier expressed his anguish on Twitter.
"I've not seen a football team be on the receiving end as ATK... If the second goal of Garcia is not a goal then rules football have changed," Ganguly had written on his twitter handle.
In the aftermath of their 1-2 defeat in Kerala, there had been reports of differences between their manager Antonio Habas and the captain Garcia, but Parekh stressed that there was no such issue.
Garcia and Co had a team meeting at the stadium yesterday and their manager, who had no idea about the development, was kept waiting for 40 minutes at the ground.
The former Liverpool star reportedly had an open talk with few of the Indian and outstation players who felt they were not given enough chances.
Reiterating that the house was in order, Parekh said: "When he (Garcia) started talking to the players, something or the other came up for discussions and 30-40 minutes elapsed in this way.
"Even players are also disappointed with the way things are going and they have a feel that there's something amiss.