Kolkata, Sep 16: Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly is sure that even if East Bengal and Mohun Bagan join the Indian Super League (ISL) in the near future with both the clubs’ huge fan base all over the country and in the world also, his team Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) will not lose their own supporters.
The former batsman, speaking to media persons in Kolkata on Thursday (September 15), said, "In last ISL in almost every match we had around 75,000 spectators. So, I am optimistic that even with the inclusion of teams like East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the ISL, we will not lose our fan base."
Although, it has been learnt that only one franchise team is likely to be allowed to take part in the ISL in near future, Ganguly gave the reference of Brazil-Argentina match with respect to crowd presence.
He said, "The gallery gets packed when Brazil take on Argentina. So, it will be a similar atmosphere if either of East Bengal and Mohun Bagan plays against ATK ever."
Ganguly, who was the chief guest in promotional event in the city, also mentioned that he is willing to watch Virat Kohli, playing at his best at the Eden Gardens against New Zealand.
Ganguly commented, "Every young cricketer should be buoyant by Kohli’s zeal and exuberance on the field. His energy on the field and tenacity to produce the best performance all the time should be ideal example for the cricket’s young generation."
Asked about India’s chances against New Zealand in the coming series, starting from 22nd September, Ganguly pointed out saying, "We should not underestimate New Zealand at all. They always start as a dark horse wherever they go to play."
Ganguly was the last Bengali cricketer to have played for India at the Eden Gardens in 2007, however looked optimistic on Wriddhiman Saha’s career.
Ganguly said, "Wriddhiman has a good prospect. He can even take part in 100 Tests also. His key strength is sincerity and tenacity. But Mohammed Shami is one of the talented bowlers who can prolong his career. But he has to make himself injury-free."