KKR did not bond emotionally with city, feel Kolkata cricket fraternity

May 21, 2013, 01:30 IST | Elora Sen

The champions have had to bite the dust � not in a glorious battle, but in the rather humiliating circumstances of not being able to even qualify for the playoff stage.

The city’s sports fraternity reacted to the KKR’s debacle this season. And for many, it seemed, that the reason for KKR’s ouster is set in the fact that they didn’t quite deliver as a team this season and also, they have somewhere lost a emotional connect to the Kolkata city.

Gautam Gambhir
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir

City players ignored
Former national golf champion and coach, Indrajit Bhalotia, who follows KKR, is foxed by the team selection this year for many of the matches. “It was bizarre the way they kept on playing Rajat Bhatia at the expense of Manoj Tiwary or Laxmi Ratan Shukla. Somehow I feel players from the city were ignored.”

Bhalotia also felt that after the rift with Sourav Ganguly, many cricket fans of the city have not really felt the same way about KKR, and the team lacks an emotional attachment with Kolkata. “You can feel the difference when it is the team from Bangalore or Chennai or Mumbai or even Delhi,” he said.

Former Bengal and India cricketer Devang Gandhi feels the same way about the emotional disconnect. “KKR have never really tried to involve former players from the city. I am attached to Kolkata and will support KKR, but frankly there is no real attachment to the team.”

Gary O’Brian, popular tennis coach and development officer with the Bengal Tennis Association also agreed that the team did not really play for the
city. “Honestly, I don’t think they actually play for Kolkata. They play for team KKR, period. No emotional bonding with the city at all.” 

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