Ganguly axed as skipper

2009-04-17 20:06

Cape Town - Kolkata Knight Riders have axed Sourav Ganguly and appointed Brendon McCullum captain for the second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting Saturday.

The decision was announced at a media conference, where coach John Buchanan also confirmed he had ditched controversial plans to have multiple captains.

"Prior to coming here there was obviously some speculation about the multiple captains," Buchanan said.

"We've appointed Brendon, who is very happy about it. He has the support of Sourav Ganguly, Brad Hodge and Chris Gayle as senior members and Matthew Mott as coach."

Wicketkeeper-batsman McCullum expressed his excitement about the appointment and said the Riders were well placed to push for glory this season.

"I'm immensely proud to have been named Kolkata Knight Riders captain," said the New Zealander. "It's a tremendous honour.

"We've got some quality players in our line-up and I will be looking to use the skills and expertise of Sourav, Brad and Chris throughout the tournament.

"We've trained hard and put big expectations on ourselves and we hope to deliver and push the boundaries towards the end of the tournament, and hopefully be in the semi-finals and final."

The decision to replace former India star Ganguly, known as the 'Prince of Kolkata', is controversial, but Buchanan is hoping the franchise's fans will accept that it is in the team's best interests.

"I'm sure there'll be the odd objection to it," he admitted. "But hopefully the fans will understand that what we are trying to do is best for them, best for the franchise and best for Sourav.

"We don't make these decisions lightly."