Kolkata: Eden Gardens may be the official home venue for the Kolkata Knight Riders, but come May 5, a majority of the Kolkatans — from celebrities to the man on the street — seem to be gearing up emotionally to back their eternal favourite 'Dada' Sourav Ganguly, who will lead the Pune Warriors India out on the historic ground.
The much-awaited Indian Premier League clash, which many are saying would be a 'home' tie for Pune, has already generated tremendous interest. The entire quota of tickets set aside for online booking has been sold, and police had to baton-charge sports buffs, who had gone on a rampage after failing to procure tickets on Sunday despite standing in the queue for hours.
The match is being variously touted as "Dada vs SRK" (KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan) and as a derby, with Ganguly set to use for the first time ever the visiting team dressing room and dug out on a ground where he honed his cricketing skills from a young age.
Ganguly, who led Kolkata in the early editions of the tournament, was shown the door last year after a controversy-laden three-year association. The prince of Kolkata has done his bit to further electrify the atmosphere. "Eden is my ground. Eden is always a home match for me," he said.
Passion for Ganguly is at its peak, especially after his captaincy in the early matches leading a team regarded as the weakest in strength and star value.
Kalyan Ranjan Ray, a retired central government employee, said he would be glued to the television to see Dada's team in action. "Of course, I am with Pune Warriors [India]. Both myself and my wife have been watching the IPL on TV, especially the matches of Dada's Pune," he said.