Showcasing his football skills, Sourav Ganguly struck three goals from the spot as he urged fans to turn up in huge numbers and support the city’s newest team Atletico de Kolkata when the ISL kicks off on October 12.
The former India cricket captain might have left football to make cricket his career, but the left-hander showed he was a powerful footballer as well, after beating ‘goalkeeper’ Alvito d Cunha thrice from five attempts under the bar at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan in Saltlake.
“You have turned up in huge numbers for East Bengal and Mohun Bagan matches. Now I urge you to come and support Atletico in the same way and watch some quality football,” the ATK co-owner said during the half time of the title deciding East Bengal-Tollygunge Agragami local league clash.
“Every team is quite competitive. There will be legends like Zico (Goa coach) and we will have Luis Garcia. The standard will be very high and we will have the opportunity to see high quality football of speed and agility. Football in India will get a huge boost.”
He further hoped that the franchisee football league would be successful like that of the hugely popular Indian Premier League.
“When IPL was launched, nobody knew it would be so successful. ISL has potential and we are keeping our fingers crossed,” he said.
Ganguly said all are welcome including kids as he promised wholesome entertainment for the family during ATK’s home outings.
“We will make arrangements so that kids can enjoy the whole day. Ticket prices will also be kept reasonable,” he said adding there would be about 30,000 bucket seats and arrangements to watch the game from near the sidelines.
The city team will return on September 26 after their month-long training in Spain and will play friendly matches against Tollygunge Agragami and either East Bengal or Mohun Bagan before the ISL.