The snub to Sourav Ganguly in the IPL players auction shocked his former team Kolkata Knight Riders' bowling coach Wasim Akram, who said he expected any of the other franchise to pick the ex-India captain for his "experience and leadership qualities".
In a major embarrasment for Ganguly, he was not picked by his home team Kolkata Knight Riders or any of the other franchises after two rounds of bidding last week.
"Ganguly is a dear friend of mine. I thought he would be picked up by some franchise for his experience and leadership qualities. But it was a big surprise when he was totally ignored," Akram told Mobile ESPN from Karachi, hinting that KKR never had plans to hire the Prince of Kolkata.
If the snub to Ganguly shocked Akram, the former Pakistan skipper was more surprised when there were no takers for dashing West Indian batsman Chris Gayle.
"I just can't believe it. Gayle is a game-changer but probably never fit the scheme of things for many teams. Maybe, teams think that Gayle does not help youngsters in the side," said Akram.
Akram believes KKR have made a gamble by buying injury-plagued Australian tearaway pacer Brett Lee in the IPL auction last weekend.
"Lee is part of Australia's World Cup plans. He is playing Twenty20 in the KFC Big Bash. But there is certainly a risk involved with him or any other fast bowler for that matter. He might have been out of action for a year and a half but he is now fit and hungry. He is surely a threat to any opposition and he is a kind of gamble that any franchise would love to take," he said.
Akram said it was bull's eye for KKR when Yusuf Pathan was bagged for $2.1 million."KKR definitely had a plan to catch top marquee Indian players. But I think they had planned for one and got two. Both (Gautam) Gambhir and Yusuf are match-winners. Gambhir is a good mix of calmness and aggression. Yusuf, on the other hand, is a useful bowler and a very good fielder," Akram said.