Former India opener and commentator Aakash Chopra has revealed a snippet from the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) camp. Aakash, who was part the Kolkata set up in 2008 has revealed that the then KKR coach John Buchanan wanted to remove Sourav Ganguly as the captain.
Chopra said that when IPL began in 2008 both Ganguly and Buchanan shared a good relationship. However, both the captain and coach had a different way of looking at things which changed their good relationship. This resulted in Buchanan wanting to fire Ganguly as captain.
“When IPL started in 2008, KKR had the likes of Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, and Brendon McCullum. Ganguly was the captain and John Buchanan was the coach,” Aakash said.
Buchanan wanted to remove Ganguly – Aakash Chopra
“The relationship between Ganguly and Buchanan was alright, to begin with, but later it went downhill, Buchanan had a different way of working and Ganguly had a different temperament. Buchanan wanted to remove Ganguly as the captain and this happened in 2009,” he added.
Sourav Ganguly was KKR’s captain during their 2008 campaign but was replaced by Brendon McCullum ahead of the 2009 season. The fortunes never turned around for the Knight Riders as they failed to qualify for the playoffs even in 2009.
Aakash Chopra added how John Buchanan had to leave as he had some dismayed ideas like having three captains in the same playing XI which did not go well. He also revealed how John Buchanan entire family and friends travelled with the KKR side like support staff.
“Eventually, John Buchanan had to leave. Some of the things were overstated as they talked about making three captains, which was not the case,” Chopra said.
“One thing that I had against him (Buchanan) was that he gathered all his friends and associates there, the whole family had come in. There were a lot of his people, I mean, that did not go down very well. On the one hand, you carefully pick and choose players for the squad, on the other hand, the whole family’s travelling with you as support staff.”
However, times have changed and Kolkata Knight Riders have come a long way. They have won the title twice in the last 12 years in 2012 and 2014, both under Gautam Gambhir.