Mumbai: This will come as a shocker to all those who felt Sourav Ganguly's career as a cricketer was over when he was snubbed by the Shah Rukh Khan-owned Indian Premier League outfit Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) earlier this year, following which he was bought by Sahara Pune Warriors towards the fag end of IPL 4.
Many critics wrote yet another obit for the former India skipper. But guess what? Dada could well be back with a bang in IPL 5. The former KKR captain is likely to don the mantle of mentor-cum-skipper of the Pune Warriors next year at IPL 5.
Though team owners - Sahara India Parivar - have not confirmed the news, they admitted that Ganguly will shoulder a bigger responsibility next season following his decent show in the last four matches of IPL 4 with the Warriors.
"Nothing has been finalised as yet, but it's almost certain that Sourav will be given a bigger role this time in IPL 5," Abhijit Sarkar, team director of Pune Warriors, who also heads corporate communications at the Sahara India Parivar, told MiD-DAY on Sunday.
Sources at Sahara though hinted that the stage is set for Dada to be the mentor-cum-skipper of the side that is currently being led by Yuvraj Singh. "Even if Sourav takes up the mentor-cum-skipper's role, that won't reduce Yuvraj's value at all. Yuvraj was our leader last season and remains the main player for the franchise even today," the source said.
The source, however, also cleared the air saying that the discussion over Ganguly's role will commence only in September, when the Bengal southpaw is back in the country after his ongoing commentary assignments in the India-England series.
"The management and Ganguly haven't met as yet to discuss this, as it is yet to get the top management's approval (read chairman Subroto Roy). But we will do so next month. Sourav has also expressed his willingness to perform a bigger role and for a slightly longer period," the source added.
Ganguly, it may be recalled, turned out for the Pune franchisee in their last four matches of IPL 4 scoring a match-winning unbeaten 32 against Deccan Chargers.
Pune however finished just one spot above wooden spoon-winners Delhi Dardevils.