10:08 pm - Thursday November 19, 2015

Do not compare ISL with IPL: Sourav Ganguly

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Sourav Ganguly, one of the co-owners of the Kolkata stated that the Indian Super League (ISL) mustn’t be compared to cricket’s successful Indian Premier League (IPL) as yet.

“Don’t compare it with IPL. Don’t compare it with cricket. I’m being honest. But as we say, it’s the start of something. Hopefully, somewhere down the line, things will improve,” he said.

The 41-year old categorically stated that he along with his co-investors in Sanjiv Goenka, Harshvadhan Neotia, Utsav Parekh and Atletico Madrid, are aware that it wouldn’t be easy to recover their investment in the ISL.

“When we met at Sanjiv (Goenka)’s house two-three weeks ago, the first thing that Sanjiv asked Harsha (Neotia) was whether he was interested in putting money to lose. It’s like this even today. Yes, we have ideas about our franchise in the long run. It’s the start of something which, hopefully somewhere down the line, we will be able to make it big. But we are not looking at it from a business perspective purely.

“We pray that all the money that we put in gets recovered. But it’s not going to be easy,” he mentioned.

The Bengal Tiger highlighted that while improving infrastructure is certainly important, it shouldn’t be an hindrance to produce the best talent.

“Infrastructure, of course is important. At the end of the day, you need a good ground, a net, a ball and a set of good players who are willing to play. That’s what creates good footballers. It is true for all sport.

“When I and Sachin (Tendulkar) started playing cricket, we used to play most of the matches on matting wickets. Yet, those facilities have produced some of the greatest. When we talk about Maradona or Pele, I’m sure facilities at that time were not as good as they are today. Yet, the best players were produced in those conditions. It’s not rocket science and we need time and keep improving what is available now.”

Ganguly hopes that their Kolkata franchisee would play their home matches at the Salt Lake Stadium.

“We hope to be able to use the Salt Lake Stadium as a venue, though nothing has been finalised as yet. Give us time, only then things will fall into place.”

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