Former cricketer Aakash Chopra has revealed that it was Australian coach John Buchanan who wanted remove Sourav Ganguly from captaincy for Kolkata Knight Riders after the duo had spats over the first two seasons of the IPL.
Chopra, who was part of the squad for the 2008 edition, attributed the feud to a difference in their working styles.
“In the first year of IPL, there was John Buchanan [as coach], [fellow Australian] Ricky Ponting was also there,” Chopra said on his Youtube channel. “Sourav Ganguly was the captain. I have seen this from close quarters – their relationship was alright to begin with, but it worsened [with time].”
Buchanan reportedly suggested a “multiple-captaincy theory”, which did not go down too well with Ganguly.
In March 2009, Ganguly clarified that he wasn’t consulted about the plan while Buchanan, who had formerly coached the Australia side, said nine more years later that there had been an issue with Ganguly because “he did not have my support in T20 cricket”.
“Buchanan’s way of working was different, and Sourav had a different temperament,” Chopra said. “In the end, he also wanted to remove Sourav Ganguly from captaincy, which actually happened the following season [in 2009, when Brendon McCullum was named captain], because in the first season, the team came sixth [on the points table], and then they came eighth when Sourav was not the captain.”
Buchanan was sacked as coach in 2009 after the team ended at the bottom of the IPL points table, and Ganguly was reinstated as skipper the following season.
“Eventually, John Buchanan had to leave,” Chopra said. “Some of the things, because I was privy to that, were overstated, like they talked about making three captains, which was not the case. But, that’s what happens. If one thing is wrong, it becomes a domino effect, other things also go wrong, and it’s said that nothing was good during his leadership.
“But then, man-management … one thing that I had against him 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. That was all happening.
“It left a little sour taste. It stands out like a sore thumb in KKR’s history.”