Sourav Ganguly dons mentor’s role during KKR practice

Speculated to return as Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain in the next Indian Premier League, Sourav Ganguly was seen playing mentor at the team’s practice session on Wednesday handing out tips to the rookies of the side at Eden Gardens.

The former India captain had some words of advice for last season’s Bengal captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla on his stance and he also gave some tips to medium pacer Ashok Dinda.

Rookies like Anureet Singh, Shoaib Sheikh, Mohnish Parmar watched carefully as the iconic left-hander took charge of the camp that had two sessions in the morning and afternoon.

Ganguly preferred not to pad up but worked out in the indoor complex in the second session as trainer Adrian Le Roux joined physio Andrew Leipus.

“I am not here as a captain of Kolkata Knight Riders. Being a part of Knight Riders, we are organising all this. These decisions (about captain and coach) are taken by the Knight Riders management. I am sure we all will get to know as soon as possible,” Ganguly told reporters.

KKR think-tank had earlier specified that the Bengal ace would play a major role in the forthcoming season.

Ganguly said organising the camp was especially important for the younger members of the side.

“Most of these boys get busy for Ranji Trophy so getting hold of them after the season begins gets difficult. We want to make them understand certain things which are required so that it will be easier later down the line.

“At present, I am just trying to work with them and making them understand what is required of them. We have about seven months to go and hopefully, this will help them in the preparation of first class matches also,” Ganguly said.

With IPL governing council on Tuesday deciding to remove the ‘icon status’ given to Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, the Bengal ace refused to comment.

“I am no one to answer that question. It’s a decision taken by the IPL committee,” he said.

Earlier, Ishank Jaggi attended the Knight Riders camp, fuelling speculation that the Jharkhand batsman was on the Kolkata franchise’s radar.

Jaggi, who was on Royal Challengers roster last season, has stated that his contract with the Bangalore team was over.

“I am now a free player as my contract with Bangalore was till last season,” he said.

Knight Riders had a disastrous IPL II in South Africa finishing last. The team was mired in controversy especially after then coach John Buchanan floated the multiple captaincy theory.

Buchanan was sacked immediately after the season and the post still lies vacant.

Names of former India coach John Wright and Pakistan ex-coach Richard Pybus along with few Indian coaches are reportedly being considered for the job.

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