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Breaking News : Sourav Ganguly to join Pune Warriors India
New Delhi, (PTI): After going unsold in the players' auction, former India captain Sourav Ganguly made a dramatic return to the Indian Premier League by signing up for struggling franchise Pune Warriors as replacement for injured pacer Ashish Nehra.:happy::jump::hysterical::up:

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"We were waiting for Ashish Nehra's fitness report and ultimately the report came yesterday. I was already in talks with Ganguly and we decided that the amount of experience that Sourav has in cricket will no doubt help the team. So we finalised Ganguly last night," Pune Warriors Team director Abhijit Sarkar said referring to the finger injury that Nehra has been nursing.

Ganguly, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders for three IPL seasons captaining them in two editions, went unsold in the January players' auction despite a rather modest base price of $400,000.

The 38-year-old refused a mentor's role with KKR after that and there had been speculation of a possible comeback through another franchise. The left-handed batman was first sought by Kochi Tuskers Kerala but their application was rejected by the IPL's Governing Council.

However, he signed on the dotted line for Pune on Monday, giving a major fillip to the side which has lost six matches on the trot after starting promisingly with a couple of back-to-back wins.

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Similar news already posted in IPL section:
Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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wow i was so desperate to see him back on the field finally i would be seeing him playing once again. I haven't seen a single IPL match yet but now i wont miss a single match specially where Dada Gonna Play. I want him to give his best this season and make KKR pay for not playing him.

My best wishes with Him always.

Minimum IPL matches he would play is 6 and first match he might play would be tomorrow 4th May Mumbai Indians.
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(05-03-2011, 12:22 PM)nairrk Wrote: Similar news already posted in IPL section:

Oh bro sorry i was so desperate to share this with each and everybody so i couldn't stop myself posting as breaking news so that straight away it can be seen.
(though till now i haven't read this in IPL section yet) so i hope u ll bear this time with me.

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Ganguly will add value to Pune Warriors, say former players

Kolkata/New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) Former cricketers feel Sourav Ganguly's vast experience will help Pune Warriors, who are struggling to stay afloat in the Indian Premier League, but caution that the former India and Kolkata Knight Riders captain won't have it easy living up to the hype.

Ganguly, who went unsold in the January auction for the fourth edition, has replaced injured fast bowler Ashish Nehra for the remaining IPL. He will play under the captaincy of Yuvraj Singh.

Warriors are languishing at the last position in the IPL with only two wins from their eight matches.

Bengal's Ranji Trophy winning captain and former national selector Sambaran Banerjee described it as a 'great news.'

'It's good to hear that he will be back in action. With his experience he will be asset.'

'Now everyone will look forward with much interest to the Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors clash. And I think Kolkata fans will be divided between the two teams. A large chunk of people will root for the Pune side as Ganguly is still the darling of the people here.'

Asked whether it would be possible for Ganguly to make a mark in the Twenty20 league now at his age and after being away from competitive cricket for a year, Banerjee said: 'Nobody is expecting him to perform as he did in 1996 or 1999. His body cannot take that. But look even Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are playing fine. If Ganguly can play at 60 percent of his ability, he will be an asset for Pune.'

Former player Atul Wassan feels going by the lukewarm performances of veterans Rahul Dravid and V.V.S.Laxman, Ganguly will have to pull off something extra from his armour to turn things around for the Warriors.

'He has played a lot of cricket which will come handy. It remains to be seen how much can he perform with the bat. Players like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who have been regularly playing Test cricket, have found it difficult to bat, though they continue to add value to Indian Premier League with their vast experience. Ganguly will also add value to the Pune team.'

Former India player and commentator Arun Lal feels that Ganguly's presence will benefit the Warriors.

'IPL has been missing Sourav. Pune Warriors have been going through a rough patch and has won only two of the eight matches. Someone like Sourav can boost them, he is the right inclusion for them,' he said.

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Expecting miracles from Ganguly is a tough ask: Rhodes

Ahead of their match against Pune Warriors on May 4, Mumbai Indians fielding coach Jonty Rhodes has started his mind games, saying that expecting miracles from Sourav Ganguly at this stage of the tournament is going to be a tough ask.
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Mumbai: Mumbai Indians' fielding coach Jonty Rhodes says expecting Sourav Ganguly to make a difference to the floundering campaign of Pune Warriors is asking for too much.

He, however, added that if Ganguly is successful in instilling confidence in the Yuvraj Singh-led side, they would be a difficult team to handle.

"It's all played in the field. You can talk to players as much as you want. I think Gary (Kirsten) did it well for India but he had a three-year plan. So to bring Ganguly now and to expect him to make a big difference on and off the field is a big ask," the former South African batsman told reporters ahead of Mumbai's clash against Pune at the D Y Patil stadium here.

"It's obviously a step which they believe is in the right direction. He is a player with great experience and knowledge about the game. And also someone who the young Indian players look upto. Sure he was one of the most successful Indian captain, he didn't win the World Cup but his Test record was brilliant.

"You want your local players to perform well. We have (Ambati) Rayudu, Satish, Munaf, Harbhajan. Our local players are playing good cricket. That is what Yuvraj is hoping that Ganguly comes and does. It's not about international players. It's about the positive energy they bring into play."

"They were a dangerous team before he came and if he is able to bring in more confidence, they will become a team that will be pretty difficult to handle," he added.

Rhodes said though Pune Warriors are on a losing spree, Sachin Tendulkar's team will not take them lightly as things can change pretty quickly in T20 cricket.

"They won their first two matches at home. They are a side we are playing on their home turf. I'm sure they will be talking about how well they have played in their backyard in the past. We know they have got some good players in their side. One knock from Yuvraj can put them back into (contention).

"I think that is where we are fortunate in having a guy like Sachin Tendulkar. He is not only a icon in India by reputation but by performance as well. All it takes is one knock from Yuvraj."

"We are expecting a tough game. In 20 overs one person can change the game in five overs and win the game for any side. We are looking to do well," he added.

Asked whether Mumbai Indians were aiming to qualify for the play-off by winning their next two games, he said, "We are taking it one step at a time. But our aim is not just to qualify for the play-offs. We want to finish first and want want to finish first in the tournament."

Source: PTI

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Former players, fans hail Ganguly's inclusion in IPL

Kolkata: As their shining 'Knight' turns into a 'Warrior', the cricket crazy Kolkatans are ready to switch allegiance with Pune franchise for the remainder of IPL.

The news came as a biggest joy for the fans in Kolkata who were left dejected after Shah Rukh Khan and Co decided not to retain the former India captain in the KKR squad this season. Ganguly's fan club page in Facebook that has more than 40,500 fans was abuzz with posts and feeds after the news spread in the morning.

From cliched posts such as "The King is back," to "Reason enough to start watching IPL all over again," the Dada fans flooded the social networking site. His fan club has also marked May 19, the day Pune Warriors take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Navi Mumbai.

"It will be interesting if Ganguly hits a century against KKR (on May 19)," a member of the fan club Gaurav Kapla posted.

Former India wicketkeeper Saba Karim said Ganguly had always loved challenges and this would be one of them.

"The Sourav I have known loves challenges. He will only focus on his game. He does not have to prove anything. He has done it so many times -- with Team India and IPL in previous editions.

"He has the drive and the hunger. His contemporaries are doing well and I think he is fit enough. IPL demands more intensity, a lot of travelling and a hectic schedule, those will be his challenges. He has to come out with good performnaces to inspire the side. If he gets going, he will bring in the turnaround," the 43-year-old Karim said.

Former India player turned commentator, Arun Lal said Ganguly would add value to the side.

"I am very very happy for Ganguly. He won't disturb the balance of the foreign players. With the Pandeys and Mithuns not doing well for the team, I am sure Ganguly will do a better job."

Bengal's Ranji Trophy winning skipper Sambaran Banerjee said, "It's a great news for Bengal cricket. I wish him all the best to do well for Pune. Ganguly will certainly add value to the side."

Source: PTI

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Ganguly's experience will be an asset to team: Yuvraj

Mumbai: Pune Warriors skipper Yuvraj Singh today welcomed Sourav Ganguly's inclusion to the squad, saying the former India skipper's experience will be an asset to the team and will help him in leading the side better in the ongoing Indian Premier League.

"He's experienced and I will get help in captaining the team," Yuvraj told reporters here today, the eve of their match against Mumbai Indians.

"Definitely he will bring in some experience," he added.

Ganguly, who was today picked as Ashish Nehra's replacement following an injury to the left-arm seamer, has however, been ruled out of tomorrow's tie.

The southpaw from Bengal had backed Yuvraj to the hilt as India skipper and for the Punjab lad, it's payback time now.

"I share a very good rapport with Sourav. He was a big support for me when I started playing cricket, so I thought (I) stand to play the role vice versa. Guys like Laxman and Dravid are still playing good cricket and so I though he too deserves a chance," Yuvraj said.

While Yuvraj is happy with Ganguly's addition, questions remain over his fitness.

"We have to see first if he is fit to play. He has not played for a long while. He has not played much cricket, so he needs to come in and show his fitness test. If he's fit we will definitely pick him," said Yuvraj.

Picking a batsman for an injured bowler does sound a bit surprising, but Yuvraj said Ganguly was picked as they needed experience in batting.

"We always looked for an option, the best option. It was the franchisee's idea because we were waiting for Ashish's (Nehra) recovery. He cannot be fit till the IPL finishes.

Looking at the batting we thought we needed someone with experience; that's why we got Sourav. But he would not play tomorrow. He's not in the running," said Yuvraj, who made his international debut under Ganguly.

"(Our) concern was what was the best option for Ashish Nehra. We have a lot of bowlers but we needed someone experienced in the batting line-up who is an also Indian and who will not hamper a foreigner playing. That's why we went for Sourav," he elaborated.

Ganguly went unsold in the players auctions held in January, after he raised his base price from USD 200,000 to 400,000.

Yuvraj is also hoping to see Graeme Smith on the field at the earliest.

"Hopefully, once Greame also becomes fit, our team will become stronger. Smith is good, he's much better now. We will assess his fitness tomorrow," the Pune skipper said.

Source: PTI

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KKR's miss is Pune's gain?

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It may be recalled that barely a couple of days ago, many fans of Ganguly had even attempted to storm into Eden Gardens and demand the inclusion of their hero into the KKR squad. A group of about 40-odd die-hard fans is planning to enter the Eden Gardens during the Kolkata Knight Riders-Kings XI Punjab IPL match on Saturday, protesting the absence of Sourav Ganguly from the home squad.

This despite the fact that the Indian Premier League has already entered its halfway stage. Fibbed into believing that their hero may still make it to the IPL, thanks to the endless speculations in the media, a group called "No Dada, No KKR" has been actively campaigning for Ganguly's return to the Knight Riders squad.

The former India skipper went unsold in the January auction, but those associated with this group are yet to come to terms with the fact that their hero is no more a part of the KKR squad.

Ever since Ganguly's ouster from the KKR team, the group has been asking people to boycott Eden Gardens during the IPL.

"We have distributed 1,00,000 leaflets along with the weekend newspapers on 26th and 27th March. We saw an unprecedented low turnout for the first match. For the following matches we launched sms campaign wherein we sent more than 6,00,000 sms-es to people in Kolkata. We have shown our dislike for IPL by staying away.

"It's time we went in and showed the same. Dada fans would be going to Eden wearing the cric tees t-shirts, with dada banners, posters and pics. We hope to catch the attention of the entire media and make our message reach to a larger audience. We also expect to get support from those inside the ground," said an active member of the group.

In fact in Hyderabad, some of the group members bought tickets originally priced at Rs 1,500, for Rs 2,500, just to convey their grievances.

Arun Raghvan, who runs the largest fan page on Ganguly on Facebook said, "Judging by the interactions that I have with over one lakh Ganguly fans on facebook, I can surely say that they are very disappointed with dada's exclusion and don't follow the IPL keenly anymore.

"They (Ganguly's fans on the net) are even more upset as every now and then news comes in that Sourav may be back in this IPL but soon the rumours are rubbished. In fact, some of them have even begun a year-long wait for the next IPL though they aren't sure if he is willing to participate in the tournament's next season."

Source: PTI/ India Syndicate

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Sourav Ganguly back with a bang!

While Sourav Ganguly felt that his IPL debut for the Pune Warriors was the toughest day of his career, cricket fans were delighted to see the ease with which he scored an unbeaten run-a-ball 32 against the Deccan Chargers. Take a look.

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Sourav Ganguly back with a bang!
Pune Warriors' Sourav Ganguly seen during his match against the Deccan Chargers

Guiding light for Pune

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Sourav Ganguly plays a shot during his knock of 32

In Dada we trust
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An Indian cricket fan tries to touch Sourav Ganguly's feet

The power of Ganguly
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Sourav Ganguly seen giving a fan the marching orders

Happy times in IPL

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Sourav Ganguly and Callum Ferguson celebrate their team's victory over the Deccan Chargers

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