Kolkata fans to root for Pune on May 5

Apr 30, 2012, 06:58 IST | IANS

For Kolkata fans, Pune takes precedence over KKR on May 5

: Eden Gardens may be the official home venue for the Kolkata Knight Riders, but come May 5 a majority of Kolkatans — from celebrities to the man on the street — seem to be gearing up emotionally to back their eternal favourite “Dada” Sourav Ganguly, who will lead the Pune Warriors out on the historic ground.

Homecoming this week: Pune Warriors Sourav Ganguly returns to Kolkata next week. Pic/AFP

The much awaited IPL clash, which many are saying would be a ‘home’ tie for Pune, has already generated tremendous interest. The entire quota of tickets set aside for online booking have been sold, and police had to baton charge sports buffs, who had gone on the rampage after failing to procure tickets Sunday despite standing in the queue for hours before ticket counters.

The match is being variously touted as “Dada vs SRK” (Knight Riders co-owner Shah Rukh Khan) and as a derby, with Ganguly set to use for the first time ever the visiting team dressing room and dug out on a ground where he honed his cricketing skills from a young age.

Ganguly, who led the Knight Riders in the early editions of the tournament, was shown the door last year after a controversy-laden three-year association.
The prince of Kolkata has done his bit to further electrify the atmosphere. “Eden is my ground. Eden is always a home match for me,” he said.

Passion for Ganguly is at its peak, especially after his captaincy in early matches leading a team regarded as the weakest in strength and star value.

Kalyan Ranjan Ray, a retired central government employee, said he would be glued to the television to see Dada’s team in action. “Of course I am with Pune Warriors. Both myself and my wife have been watching the IPL on TV, especially the matches of Dada’s Pune,” he said. 

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