Indian Premier League 2009 April 17, 2009

McCullum replaces Ganguly as Kolkata captain

Cricinfo staff

New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum will lead the Kolkata Knight Riders for the second season of the IPL, which begins on Saturday in South Africa. He has replaced former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who led Kolkata during the first season of the IPL.

Ganguly said he was "okay" with the decision. "I'll play as an ordinary player and support McCullum in whatever way I can," he told the Kolkata-based Telegraph. "Shah Rukh has spoken to me and he's given Buchanan everything he wanted, including the captain, and stated that there could now be no excuse for not performing."

The move has cleared some doubt regarding the multiple-captain theory proposed by Kolkata coach John Buchanan. The team had been using different captains in each of their practice games in South Africa, but it is now clear the strategy has been done away with.

"Prior to coming here there was obviously some speculation about the multi-captains," Buchanan said. "We've appointed Brendon, who is very happy about it. He has the support of Sourav Ganguly, Brad Hodge and Chris Gayle as senior members and obviously Matthew Mott as team coach."

McCullum will also keep wicket and open the batting. "I'm immensely proud to have been named Kolkata Knight Riders captain. It's a tremendous honour," he said."We've got some quality players in our line-up and I will be looking to use the skills and expertise of Sourav, Brad and Chris throughout the tournament.

"I don't know how it looks from the outside, but Sourav has been extremely supportive of my role in Kolkata Knight Riders, right from the inaugural season," McCullum wrote in his column for Times of India. "He is an icon who has always had a way with younger players and it is wonderful to watch how they respond and react to him. I am sure that Sourav will be one of the chief motivators for the youngsters in the group this year as well.

"As a unit, our expectations from him are high and we feel that he will now be able to express himself more freely as a batsman and of course he will be making huge inputs in planning and ideating."

Buchanan said the decision was taken in the best interests of the team. "I'm sure there'll be the odd objection to it, but hopefully the fans will understand that what we are trying to do is the best for them, the best for the franchise and the best for Sourav. We don't make these decisions lightly."

Ganguly is the third captain to have lost the captaincy after the IPL's first season. VVS Laxman was the first to go when the Deccan Chargers appointed Adam Gilchrist to lead the side, followed by Rahul Dravid making way for Kevin Pietersen at the helm for the Bangalore Royal Challengers.

Kolkata will play their first game against Deccan on Sunday.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Madeleine on April 20, 2009, 15:54 GMT

    Yesterday goes to show you cannot just dump a captain and hope to carry on as usual. Whoever thought up the idea of getting rid of Dada contributed to yesterday's disaster. Get him back on board as captain as soon as possible and stop messing about with the Kolkata team. I want them to win this competition!

  • Ashok on April 18, 2009, 16:25 GMT

    It appears most of the IPL club owners do not like the Indian Captains. Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly all lost their captaincy to foreign players. I do not know whether Rajasthan led by Warne motivated the owners to go for a European origin captain. If so it must be a challenge for the other Indian origin captains like Dhoni, Tendulkar, Gambhir and Yuvraj to show that even Indian captains are capable of leading their teams to win the IPL. In 20/20 there is very small margin for errors and if the bowlers bowl at the right spots, the team wins. Captains need to know their players very well. Can an egotist like KP understand anyone else but himself? Similarly McCullum & Gichrist might be a great individual player but do they know any of their team mates as well as Ganguly or Laxman do? Also there seems to be a clash of personalities between Shah Rukh and Ganguly as well as Maliya & Dravid.I personally like the teams to be captained by the Indians who understand the local players better.

  • Moloy on April 18, 2009, 15:56 GMT

    What are u guys talkin bout?? ganguly was by far the best player for KKR last IPL! He had the highest no of runs and the best economy rate! Also i dont think KKR have enough domestic strength to replace Ganguly right now. I dont get why so many people criticize this guy without giving it a second tought!

  • Niladri on April 18, 2009, 14:36 GMT

    I agree Saurav does not have much to give at least for T20 format of the game because of age and fitness he is having now. However the way Mr. SRK and the "buchibabu" (Buchanan) removed him it is pathetic. And one thing you can see from Mr SRK , he is dam bloody clever man . all advertisement and all crap bla bla he has done with Ganguly and he played same politics the way film starts gets films and remove other star. I think Ganguly should come back from SA

  • Agnibho on April 18, 2009, 12:40 GMT

    i think this season is the last t-20 season for him. he is a natural leader, so he may have had some problems with doing away with captaincy even after the slackeing reflexes and the worsening fitness. but perhaps this would help him to some of those carefree coverdrives and effortless sixes. his admirers would like to see them one final time. in such circumstances, it is better not to abuse him irrationally, even if one cannot respect this great, yes, great indian cricketer. a beautiful batsman, an effective bowler, a good catcher and a pathbreaking captain. may peace be upon him.

  • Chinmoy on April 18, 2009, 12:08 GMT

    For all those iconoclasts that are pooling the maharaja, along with VVS, and dravid, your wits must have gone a wool gathering. Ganguly can pace his innings for a win in every form of the game. And remember when he didn't perform with the bat, the team continued to perform. Isn't that what a captain is supposed to be. Cocky? If he is why shouldn't he be. And by the way personally he is very humble. On the field its his air, and presence that makes the likes of pointing tremble, and bring out their worst ethics, in trying to preserve a draw, or sneak out a victory.

    But there is no point in preaching the haters. So all I say is "WAIT". Economically to a very poor decision, TV revenues - 2009IPL, TV/Spectator revenues - 2010 if held in India.

    Sharukh be rest assured your movies will take a hit, not that they were any good to begin with, but they at least pulled in a bunch of fools.

  • Agnibho on April 18, 2009, 11:50 GMT

    samavb! why are you so bitter about ganguly? to demonstrate dhoni's greatness, is it necessary to pull ganguly down? i dont think so. your comment has many a flaw. chapell by now had been criticized by all indian cricketers, and at that juncture chapell had enough clout to eject ganguly. ganguly had been the pioneering leader of a new age indian team, he was beyond parochialism, and was a popular captain. he had his share of controversies. but he was indeed a great player, who compromised his focus on batting to lead indian cricket out of betting controversies. and where did you know abut him being jealous of Sachin and Dhoni? dont make such rustic, baseless comments on cricinfo.

  • Sarwar on April 18, 2009, 7:07 GMT

    I don't think Dada become obsolete. He was being proved himself as one of the best Indian Captain at time. He has still lot more potential to contribute to the team. If we recall last year ICL, Basher was not in form or not even at the age to cope up with the T-20 format but who brought the team in a respectable Table although team was not equiped with the best possible players. Hence, where there is an abundance of players in the tent of KKR then he could really play a pivotal role. At the end, considering the situation it's better to retire with his Dada Image since some voices are rising. So, let it go with the multiple captain theory as the time is demanding.

  • Amit on April 18, 2009, 6:59 GMT

    Team Kolkata has no reputation without Ganguly. If SRK thinks that he is the Icon of the team, then he is wrong. He doesnt represent Kolkata or Cricket.

  • Nikhil on April 18, 2009, 6:36 GMT

    well, a lot of people will lambast me ...but was'nt IPL suppose to be evrything Indian. Royals had Shane Warne as captain as it didnt had any great shakes player their, but all the icon players are great players no doubt. Laxman's removal is expected since he has never gone on to captain the national side, barring a couple of one day matches, but rest have all been proven and successful captains, specially Ganguly and Dravid. To remove them and replace with unproven captains is really a slap on the concept of calling the tournamnet INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE. Sachin has been an unsuccessful captain and he should have been the first one stripped of the captaincy, but he is resting on his laurels( which is expected). Once again as usual Indians follow the foreign diktats and company raaj of over 200 years some how is too deep rooted to be removed.

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