Prince vs King: Ganguly, SRK battle for Kolkata's lone football franchise

Mar 12, 2014, 10:59 IST | Debasish Datta

Given Sourav Ganguly's love for football, it is no surprise the former India captain is keen to own a team in the Indian Super League but he is expected to face stiff competition from Shah Rukh Khan

Sourav Ganguly’s love for football is well known and so is the fact that he was a good footballer long before he began playing professional cricket. So, it comes as no surprise then that the former India captain is keen to own a team in the city-based IMG-Reliance Indian Super League to be played between September and November.

Sourav Ganguly

It is learnt that Ganguly has already met All India Football Federation (AIFF) chief Praful Patel to express his desire to own the league’s Kolkata franchise. Including Kolkata, bids have already been invited for nine cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Guwahati, Kochi and Mumbai. Of these, eight teams will be picked for the tournament. Ganguly however, has a strong contender for the lone Kolkata franchise slot in Shah Rukh Khan. AIFF vice president Subroto Datta confirmed to mid-day that SRK is indeed keen to own the Kolkata franchise.

Shah Rukh Khan

The superstar already owns the highly successful Indian Premier League outfit Kolkata Knight Riders and was even been named the brand ambassador for the city by none other than West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee after KKR won the IPL in 2012.

Ganguly and SRK aren’t necessarily the best of friends considering the stylish left-hander was first picked to lead KKR and later dumped by the franchise (in 2009). Ganguly subsequently moved on to the Sahara Pune Warriors franchise, even as SRK maintained that he and his team had in no way “humiliated” him.

Though there are other prominent names like actor John Abraham, Sunil Gavaskar’s Professional Management Group, Jindal Steel, among others doing the rounds for some of the other IMG-Reliance Indian Super League franchises, there is no doubt that the eagerly watched battle is going to be the Ganguly vs SRK clash.

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