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Sourav Ganguly to play for Pune Warriors

New Delhi, May 3 (IANS)
Published on 4 May. 2011 12:23 AM IST
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Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is fifth time lucky. He will play for Pune Warriors in the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as a replacement for injured fast bowler Ashish Nehra.Ganguly, who had pitched his base price at $400,000, went unsold twice in the players’ auction in January when his former team mates Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman managed to find buyers.
Ganguly, who had a controversial three years as Kolkata Knight Riders captain and player, was offered the role of mentor by Knight Riders’ owner Shahrukh Khan, but he flatly refused to quit playing.
Then Kochi Tuskers wanted to sign him him out of auction, but this time the IPL Governing Council shot it down following opposition from other franchises.
Kochi Tuskers tried again to get Ganguly in place of their injured Australian all-rounder Steve Smith. The former India captain could not make it again, now his higher base price came in the away as Smith’s tag price was half of Ganguly’s and the IPL rules did not permit the swap. The rule is a replacement player must have the same base price as the one going out.
Kochi Tuskers’ showed interest in Ganguly yet again when the Sri Lankan board wanted all its players back by May 5 to join the squad for England tour. He could have come in as a replacement for Mahela Jayawrdene if the Sri Lankan board had not relented and allowed the players to stay on till May 15.
Eventually, the Warriors succeeded in roping Ganguly in when the medical opinion ruled Nehra out of the entire IPL-IV Monday. Ganguly will thus play under his protege Yuvraj Singh for the remainder of the IPL season.
The Pune Warriors team management said that “he is not playing for money, just to prove a point”. Ganguly, however, is unlikely to play in the coming Pune Warriors match against Mumbai Indians Wednesday. “He, however, will join the team for practice and training,” Sarkar said.

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