Almost everything was right about KKR, a larger than life owner, an extremely popular "Idol", competent support staff and a mind-blowing marketing & campaigning team. Due to its association with King Khan, KKR was never short of media limelight. There were promotional songs, themes, merchandise and even a reality show. Everything was just so perfect expect for the 'playing part'.
Knight Riders came out croppers on the field, loosing matches after matches, some close ones, some one-sided. They started off IPL with a bang, largely due to Mcullum's heroics, but soon fizzled out like air from a cola bottle. Frictions emerged within the team when John Buchanan took over as coach in the 2nd edition of IPL. Multiple-captain theory and several other bizarre ideas came out of that wise mind of the Aussie. Saurav Ganguly was sidelined and his own performance dipped alarmingly. (He performed well in the first IPL). And there was an asshole called Fake IPL Player too.
KKR hoped for a new beginning in the 3rd edition by handing over the captaincy to Saurav again. The team did better than previous two editions, but was woefully inconsistent. Semifinals dream was not fulfilled and sad journey of the Knight Riders seemed endless.
KKR owners were licking their wounds when time for IPL re-auction arrived. Their prestige in market was at stake despite the fact that franchise was making decent profits. After all, its not money which always matters. Saurav Ganguly was not bought by KKR. For the records, he was KKR's highest run-getter in IPL 3 and was 4th overall.
Shah Rukh has every right to expect that his team performs well. He has invested his money, faith and time in the endeavor and there is no harm in seeking some returns. If Saurav's non-selection in KKR disappointed his fans, cold shoulder by other franchises made matters worst. Moreover, the manner in which he was dumped was quite unceremonious. He would have definitely performed better, even if he played with right-hand, than many of the 'never-heard-before' players who were sold during the auction. For the records, even likes of Md. Kaif and Sreedharan Sreeram were sold.
I wish Saurav was taken into confidence before this decision was arrived at. SRK should have talked to him and offered him the mentor's role way before the actual auction. This would have helped in retention of basic fan-base for KKR. As things stand today, KKR faces an uphill task of performing well in the IPL, coping with disgruntled Kolkata fans and bringing in some crowd at Eden. Those empty stands in Eden Gardens tell the entire story. Shah Rukh Khan could have easily handled the Ganguly issue a bit more maturely. By dissociating himself from KKR's cricketing affairs, he did a wise thing. But he should have realized, Saurav Ganguly is not a mere cricketer. He lives deep inside Bengal's heart.
I wish KKR does well this season. Shah Rukh Khan deserves some glory after three years of selfless cheering and support. He says, KKR wants to win the IPL for Dada. Dada fans say, No Dada, No IPL.
There are some serious emotions involved here. Someone's pride, someone's hurt ego and a million's anger. And for me, this is the most stunning cocktail on offer, this IPL season.