The war of words between John Buchanan and Sourav Ganguly escalated further with Buchanan, the Kolkata Knight Riders' coach, saying that he had already discussed with Sourav Ganguly the controversial theory of multiple captains for the team before making the announcement in a press conference on Wednesday. Ganguly had earlier denied any knowledge of this development, but Buchanan insisted that the two had had discussions on the issue during the IPL's first season.

"I had detailed discussions with Sourav during last season's IPL about his future role," Buchanan told Anandabazar Patrika, a Kolkata-based daily. "The developments were not at all new to him. We had spoken about the importance of having alternative captains." Buchanan's remarks contradict the statements of Ganguly, who had said he had no idea about this strategy. "All I can say is that I was not consulted on this. Frankly, it's a new concept. It may work, it may not."

The decision has evoked strong reactions in Kolkata, with Ganguly fans burning effigies of Buchanan, whose security has been strengthened in the wake of these protests. But the coach explained that this format of the game required a completely new approach, and adapting to this would be difficult for most of the old-timers.

"Not just Sourav. Ponting, Gilchrist, Sachin, Laxman, Dravid - for them the onset of Twenty20 has perhaps come at the wrong time. They still can manage because of their sheer talent. But I'm quite clear in my thinking. Like Sourav, they are also nearing the end of their playing careers. The game needs a 'new dawn'. And the light will be provided by the numerous unnamed, uncapped players waiting for their chances."

When he was reminded that India had won the World Twenty20 under one captain, Buchanan responded by saying the game had undergone much change over the last one-and-a-half years.

"At the time there wasn't much research done about the Twenty20 format. I don't want to undermine India's achievement. But it's true that most of the renowned international players were missing then. The state-level players showed more efficiency and sharpness during the tournament. Gone are those days. The world of franchises has completely changed the face of Twenty20 cricket, The game is progressing. This is what I had explained to Sourav."

Buchanan didn't clarify as to who would lead the team during various stages of the match, saying that any of three or four senior players - including Chris Gayle and Brendon McCullum - could take charge.

He did say, though, that he understood Ganguly's reluctance to accept the new idea, admitting that Steve Waugh would have reacted similarly had he been in Ganguly's place. "Steve would have been worried the same way. He is also been brought up the traditional atmosphere. I had spoken to him before I left Australia and told him about my new plans. 'Again a new idea?' Steve said."