Misbah exceeds our budget: Ganguly

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Kolkata, Mar 11 (UNI) Kolkata Knight Riders captain Sourav Ganguly today said they had to give up Misbah-ul-Haq as their budget did not permit it.

Talking to the reporters during the launch of Kolkata Knight Riders team, Ganguly said, ''We wanted Misbah initially, but then our pockets did not permit us.'' He quickly added, ''We have six international stars and we will find it difficult to field all of them. We are happy with our team and hope it will come off well.'' The Kolkata team boasts of Ricky Ponting, Chris Gayle, Brendon McCullum, Tatenda Taibu, Umar Gul and David Hussey.

Big money splurged for some of Kolkata Knight Riders were Sourav Ganguly (icon), Shoaib Akhtar (US 425,000 dollars), Ricky Ponting (US 400,000 dollars), Brendon McCullum (US 700,000 dollars), Chris Gayle (US 800,000 dollars), Ajit Agarkar (US 330,000 dollars), David Hussey (US 675,000 dollars), Ishant Sharma (US 950,000 dollars), Murali Kartik (US 425,000 dollars), Umar Gul (US 150,000 dollars) Sourav also reposed his faith in the domestic cricketers like Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Sourashis Lahiri, Wriddhiman Saha and Rohan Banerjee.

''We have a fine breed of domestic players. And we think we will have a fine team if it plays to its potential,'' he said.

Asked if the CAB stalemate would be addressed, he said, ''Sure it will be and sorted out amicably. We will sit in a day or two and sort out the matter.'' The rival faction in CAB has cornered the ruling group demanding 70 per cent of the share of tickets in Eden and the matter remained unresolved till date.

Asked, who was the strongest opponent among the seven other teams, Ganguly said, ''The game can be scrutinised more when it is longer. All the eight teams in the competition are dangerous and competitive and we must play good strong cricket to win.'' ''But I still feel, Twenty20 is about the fitness, skill and form for those 20 overs on that given day. So it will be hard to predict,'' he added.

Asked about his combination with Shahrukh Khan and John Buchanan, he said, ''I have known Shahrukh for a long time now and he is a good friend and John is one of the best coaches and hope we will do well as a team.'' Asked if the fact that players like Ponting and Akhtar not having played much Twenty20 will affect, ''Nobody has played too many Twenty20 matches. We have to try and hope to do well.'' When asked not playing in the Twenty20 World Cup would be compensated in this tournament, he said, ''A World Cup is a world cup.'' UNI BA PP RAR RAI2025

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