Former cricketer Aakash Chopra has opened up on the relationship between Sourav Ganguly and John Buchanan at the Kolkata Knight Riders,which turned to worse with time during the initial seasons of the Indian Premier League. Chopra, who was the part of the KKR squad at the time, revealed that Buchanan wanted to remove Ganguly from captaincy.
“In the first year of IPL, there was John Buchanan [as coach], [fellow Australian] Ricky Ponting was also there. Sourav Ganguly was the captain. I have seen this from close quarters – their relationship was alright to begin with, but it worsened [with time],” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
“Buchanan’s way of working was different, and Sourav had a different temperament,” Chopra said. “In the end, he also wanted to remove Sourav Ganguly from captaincy, which actually happened the following season [in 2009, when Brendon McCullum was named captain], because in the first season, the team came sixth [on the points table], and then they came eighth when Sourav was not the captain.”
During an interview with Sportstar in 2018, Buchanan had said that he had issues with Ganguly as a T20 player at the time. "“I certainly believe that Sourav had a role to play in Knight Riders, but I just did not feel that in terms of the T20 format and how Sourav was playing. This again has something to do with physical, technical and mental aspects of the game,” Buchanan had said.
Chopra further said that there have been multiple theories on why the relationship between Ganguly and Buchanan didn't work.
“Eventually, John Buchanan had to leave. Some of the things, because I was privy to that, were overstated, like they talked about making three captains, which was not the case. But, that’s what happens. If one thing is wrong, it becomes a domino effect, other things also go wrong, and it’s said that nothing was good during his leadership,” Chopra said.
"But then, man-management… one thing that I had against him was that he gathered all his friends and associates there, the whole family had come in. There were a lot of [his] people, I mean, that did not go down very well. On the one hand, you carefully pick and choose players [for the squad], on the other hand, the whole family’s travelling with you as support staff. That was all happening.
“It left a little sour taste. It stands out like a sore thumb in KKR’s history.”