TV grab of empty stands during the KKR vs DC IPL match
Everyone anticipated it. Right from the day former India skipper Sourav Ganguly went unsold at the IPL player auction, everyone anticipated an empty Eden Garden during Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) home matches. Kolkata was furious with the treatment meted out to its favorite son in the name of a ‘business decision’. Kolkata decided to reply the KKR management by boycotting Eden Garden which damaged KKR’s business. Lowest ever turn out at Eden for a match and team’s owner Shahrukh Khan admitted that Dada was missed. Perhaps Shahrukh had already realised by that time what ‘Dadagiri’ is and who rules in Kolkata.
Sourav fans all over the country managed to keep the anger burning and they deserve the credit for making the campaign ‘No Dada, No KKR’ campaign a success. Sportskeeda was the first to report how Ganguly fans all over the country had planned to start the No Dada, No KKR/IPL’ campaign. Facebook pages and groups were created to unite fans all over India.
Thousands of leaflets like this were distributed all over Kolkata
Fans organised protest rallies. they also managed to draw attention of media about their campaign. They didn’t stop with a few rallies or candle light vigil. Immediately after the world cup was over and IPL was about to start, thousands of leaflets requesting Kolkatans to boycott KKR matches at Eden Garden were printed and distributed.
Kolkata which always stood by its beloved ‘prince’ during his rough times, was again in support of Ganguly with all force. Kolkata fans were always emotional about Dada. In 2005, Eden Garden had supported South Africa over India and booed then captain Rahul Dravid and coach Gregg Chapell for dropping Sourav. This time around they made holes in KKR management’s pockets by deciding to boycott the KKR home games. Around 20000 spectators were present if media reports are to be believed (as no official figures were released by KKR) in a stadium of 65000 capacity. Those who were present were there because of free passes they had obtained. Many of those who were at the Eden garden were also not supporting KKR but there just to watch the game as they had got a free pass. With Kolkata losing a marquee game like India vs England match in the World Cup and hosting two unimportant games involving Ireland, it was expected that Kolkatans would be waiting for IPL to start so that they can come to the stadium and watch the game. But they had different plans. They were all united with solidarity for Dada and the roar at the eden for home team was missing that must have baffled even the opponent team.
Team owner Shahrukh was quick to be in the damage control mode. He sounded trying to appease Sourav with “Sourav is part of the KKR in our heart, in our souls. We missed Dada.” KKR has decided to slash the ticket prices to attract crowd but perhaps such measure will prove to be futile at the end. KKR might have managed to win the match, but they certainly failed to win the hearts.
Some more pics of empty Eden Grden during the match:
(pics used here are collected from some fans of Sourav Ganguly for the sole purpose of using in this post)
Published 14 Apr 2011, 13:12 IST