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'Salman is popular and will bring visibility to the Olympics'

Source: PTI
April 28, 2016 16:13 IST
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'He is an entertainer. I think it's fine to have him appointed as the ambassador,' says former India captain Sourav Ganguly.

Salman KhanFormer India captain Sourav Ganguly sees nothing wrong in Salman Khan bringing the glamour quotient to India's table for the upcoming Olympics.

Speaking on the raging debate for the first time, the celebrated cricketer said, "I'm happy and fine with him (Salman) being the ambassador, as he brings visibility and glamour quotient to anything.

"You cannot deny that Salman is popular and he would bring visibility to the Rio Olympics. He is an entertainer. I think it's fine to have him appointed as the ambassador. I think they can have other ambassadors as well; it's nowhere written that they can only have one ambassador," Ganguly said at a promotional event in Kolkata, on Thursday, where he was earlier named brand ambassador of progressive spectacle lens brand Varilux for three years as French lens maker Essilor also launched its new generation opticals.

- Salman as India's Rio Olympics ambassador: Right or wrong?

"There have been some outstanding athletes who have brought laurels to the country. I'm sure they can team up with Salman. At the same time, there is no harm in having other ambassadors. They can work along with Salman and bring glamour, entertainment and sport together. We have some legends in the country they can be a part as well."

Ganguly, who now promotes football as co-owner of Kolkata franchise Atletico de Kolkata in the lucrative Indian Super League, cited examples of glittering opening ceremonies in any mega event where entertainment goes hand in hand with sport.

"When you have a big event like the Commonwealth Games and IPL we have a bit of both, like the glittering opening ceremony with players swearing-in and stuff. It makes it perfect; there can be a mix of both. Look at the ISL, there's so many film stars and sportspersons involved and they make it a success."

He expressed home of the controversy settling down soon.

"Problem in the country is opinions go galore when things happen; people just jump out and say 'why this and why that' without solving the problem. It goes on for a few days and then it settles down."

Talking about cricket, Ganguly picked two-time former champions Kolkata Knight Riders as the "best side" in the ongoing IPL-9.

"Although it's very early days and anything can happen, I maintain that they are the best side in the IPL… quite balanced and looking good."

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