Ganguly chases Gilchrist for Shah Rukh’s team


Sydney : Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is apparently in talks with Australian ace Adam Gilchrist on Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s behalf to have him play for Kolkata in the lucrative Indian Cricket League (IPL) in April.

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The batsman-cum-wicket-keeper’s manager Steve Atkinson is in India to hold talks with Ganguly, who is now in India after being dropped from the national One-Day International (ODI) team playing in the Commonwealth Bank Triangular Series in Australia.

“This week he [Khan] told former Indian captain Ganguly, who will skipper the Kolkata team, to try to personally sign up Gilchrist and allow him to share in the riches on offer in the lucrative Twenty20 competition, beginning on April 18,” Daily Telegraph reported Saturday.

“Gilchrist’s manager Atkinson is in India this weekend seeking clarification on several issues to do with the IPL,” it said.

Gilchrist, who has retired from Test cricket, has still not been given permission by his Australian cricket board to play in the IPL as there is a two-year moratorium from when a player retires. This could be a mere formality once he retires from ODI too after the ongoing triangular series.

“… it’s understood this will be a formality once Cricket Australia (CA), player unions and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) resolve concerns about playing and sponsorship contracts which have lingered for months,” wrote the paper.

“Gilchrist may earn more in 44 days work in the IPL than he would in a full year of international action. He can expect a base payment of $300,000 and could double or triple that when the franchises bid next month for the talent they want in a glorified cricketing cattle yard.”

It is understood that the other seven IPL franchises are also interested in the hard-hitting left-hander and have already drawn up their wish lists, with Gilchrist heading most.

“Money is no barrier for Khan who is also interested in enigmatic Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi,” the paper said.

“The soon-to-be retired Gilchrist is one of 11 Australian players to have signed an expression of interest in the IPL, but is likely to be the only incumbent available because of Australia’s commitments in Pakistan [March-April] and the West Indies when the tournament is on.”

CA and the BCCI remain at loggerheads over the right to use Australian players to promote Indian sponsors. CA, and player managers, are concerned these sponsors will clash with official board partners. They are particularly worried about Australian players used in Indian advertising shown in Australia.

In the tournament, based on Twenty20 matches, 59 matches will be played in 44 days starting April 18.

Till date IPL has raised a total of $1.749 billion, or Rs.69.96 billion.