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Ganguly denies being approached by Kochi

January 27, 2011 15:20 IST

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who was ignored by IPL franchises at the players' auction, rubbished speculation that he is now being approached by Kochi through an open bidding process.

The most successful India captain, who found no takers from the 10 franchises in the Indian Premier League auction, said it is media speculation that he is in talks with the team owned by Rendezvous Sports.

"I don't know much about Kochi; it seems you guys know more. Well, till now, I've not been approached by any team," Ganguly told reporters during a promotional event in Kolkata on Thursday.

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He went on to voice his support for Sachin Tendulkar being conferred the Bharat Ratna, saying the ace Mumbai batsman deserves the country's highest civilian award.

"As I've said earlier, he should get it. In near future he should be getting it," Ganguly said.

Media reports had said the Kochi IPL had contacted other teams to get a no-objection certificate (NOC) from them to rope in the left-hander.

As per IPL rules, Ganguly can again be part of the IPL through an open bidding process if all the 10 franchises have no objection to the move.

With the World Cup, to be staged in the subcontinent, round the corner and the temperatures soaring high about India's prospects, Ganguly urged fans to stand by the Mahendra Sing Dhoni and his men.

"If we win, it will be fantastic. But even if we don't win (the World Cup) we will still support you. It's a very good and settled side with a great bunch of boys," Ganguly said.

Ganguly also said Indian selectors should have opted for a second wicketkeeper and medium pacer Sreesanth.

"As I've said earlier, Sreesanth should have been taken. Every team will be coming with two wicketkeepers. So, it's important that Dhoni is fit."

Asked for his favourites, Ganguly replied: "All of them will be bringing their best sides. Australia have a strong pace attack in guys like (Brett) Lee and (Shaun) Tait. Pakistan, with its talent, should be the darkhorse. South Africa will have (Jacques) Kallis while the West Indies boast of a strong batting line-up."

He also expressed confidence that the Eden Gardens will be ready in time amidst fears that the renovation work is going way behind schedule.

"I'm sure it will be completed and be ready in time for the (four) World Cup matches," Ganguly said.

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