Vijay Mallya reposes confidence in Dravid and team

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Kolkata, May 7 (UNI) Vijay Mallya, owner of Bangalore Royal Challengers, today said he reposed full faith and confidence in his captain Rahul Dravid, CCO Martin Crowe and overall in his team.

In a statement, the UB Group Chairman said his choice of Brijesh Patel as new CEO was largely motivated by the fact that he (Patel) was an accomplished cricketer himself from Karnataka and understands local condition.

His statement came after speculation was rife following resignation of Chaaru Sharma as CEO after five defeats in seven matches.

Mr Mallya said the addition of Patel to lead the management of Bangalore will strengthen the side considerably and will have positive influence on the selection and future development of local Karnataka cricketers, who aspire to play in the IPL in future.

'' I am personally travelling to Kolkata to witness the big match between my Royal Challenger team and Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens and I wish to confirm that this is yet another expression of confidence in my team's ability to effectively compete in the IPL, which still has a long way to go, '' Mallya said in the statement.

He said Patel was better equipped to comment upon composition of the side and support staff.

'' I am fully supportive of Mr Venkatesh Prasad as bowling coach after he excelled himself with the Indian team recently in Australia, '' Mr Mallya said.

'' Kolkata is where I was born and bred and I still consider myself a '' Padar Chhele'' (local boy) and tomorrow's match will bean emotional one for me personally, '' added Mr Mallya.

'' I am also looking forward to witnessing the game at the famous Eden Gardens where I have watched cricket ever since I was a young boy, '' Mallya said at the end.

UNI PC SJC AE HT2230

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