Mumbai: To captain Team India is no big deal, feels former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, while adding that the real challenge lies in leading an Indian Premier League (IPL) team where you have to keep the franchise owners happy all the time.
Ganguly had the honour of delivering the fourth Dilip Sardesai Lecture on the 'Effects of T20 cricket on Tests' in Mumbai on Friday, where he expressed his opinion. "There is a significant difference in captaining an Indian team and an IPL side," India's most successful captain said while delivering the lecture.
"There is enormous pressure in leading an IPL team. You have to answer [the owners] before and after every IPL game. I had to switch off my phone twice, but they still found a way to reach me. In my career as India captain, I never got a call from the Board president or chief selector as to why I took a decision. It is much, much easier to captain India than an IPL team," Ganguly said.
The former India skipper captained the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders in the first three seasons of the league before being given the cold shoulder due to the team's dismal show. Pune Warriors India then added Ganguly to their ranks as a captain-cum-mentor in the absence of Yuvraj Singh.
But Ganguly did admit that IPL is the best thing to happen to Indian cricket. "I know many won't agree with me, but I feel the IPL is the best thing to have happened, especially for our first-class cricketers. I know this game is not just about the money, but we have to look at the security part as well. We used to get Rs 400 for a Ranji Trophy match," he said.
However, he said T20s shouldn't be the yardstick for India selection, rather it should be first-class cricket. "If I was a selecting a Test team, I would give more importance to Ranji performances."