Shah Rukh Khan slams Gavaskar for criticising Buchanan

Kolkata Knight Riders owner Shah Rukh Khan took a dig at former India captain Sunil Gavaskar for ridiculing John Buchanan’s multiple-captain theory saying he bought the team and would run it the way he wants.

Former Australia World Cup winning coach Buchanan, who is now manager of Kolkata Knight Riders, had suggested the four captain theory for the second season of the Indian Premier League that has ruffled a few feathers, including that of former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.

“I have great respect for Mr Gavaskar. I have grown up enjoying his performance as well as KR Vishwanath and Kapil’s. We all respect him too much but having said that I would like to say that please give it (the multiple-captain theory) a breathing space to try now. If we fail we can always go back to the traditional way,” Shah Rukh said at a media conference in Mumbai on Sunday to announce new initiatives with Team sponsors Nokia.

The Bollywood star said he has spent a lot of money in buying the team and would like to run it as he deems fit.

“I have spent lot of money on my team. If you have a problem then you buy your own team and run it the way you want,” he said, in an obvious response to Gavaskar’s comments.

India’s batting legend Gavaskar, in a newspaper column, had criticised Buchanan’s theory saying too much importance is being accorded to the Australian, who is a failed first-class cricketer and is only trying to get lucrative jobs for “his Queensland pals”.

“To comment on his multiple skipper theory is to give it the importance it doesn’t deserve but what does require comment is how he has got his Queensland pals lucrative jobs with KKR.

“They have a very big support staff which includes his son and most of them are from Queensland. The owners – poor souls – have little idea that they are being milked,” Gavaskar had written.

Shah Rukh, meanwhile, said he would rather try the multiple captain idea and fail than not giving it a chance at all.

“Twenty20 cricket is a new format and last time we did not do well after going by the traditional way (one captain). This time Buchanan will try multiple captaincy in the practice game before the IPL starts in South Africa and see whether he succeeds or not,” the Bollywood star said.

Buchanan’s concept has generated lot of controversy ahead of the April 18 to May 24 IPL to be held in eight cities of South Africa.

Sourav Ganguly, who led the team last year, had expressed resentment to the multiple captain idea.

The former India captain and Buchanan have had lengthy discussions with Shah Rukh at his residence to thrash out the issues.

Shah Rukh on Sunday pointed out that the concept had been tried out last year itself by Kings XI Punjab.

“It was tried out last year itself by the Mohali team which had a fielding captain (Kumar Sangakkara), a batting captain, a bowling captain and an overall captain Yuvraj Singh,” he said.

The Bollywood star gave the example of cricket’s cousin baseball which has coaches giving instructions from outside the field to the pitchers, batters and others.

Shah Rukh also expressed hope that his team would perform much better than last year.

“All our players like Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Sourav Ganguly, Brad Hodge, Ajantha Mendis, Ishant Sharma, Mashrafe Mortaza are available,” he said.

“Almost 97 to 98 per cent of the players are available and it’s a strong line-up. I hope the team performs better than last year,” Shah Rukh said.

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