Sourav Ganguly finished playing his cricket a decade back but still feels can be a part of a team, and even captain it — at least on the fantasy platform. He is the brand ambassador for My11 Circle that invites fans to match up their fantasy cricket skills against that of the former Indian captain. While picking a team at the launch of the app Sourav Ganguly jokingly said, ” I could still pick myself as the captain, stand in the slips and bowl a few overs.”
He is happy to light up a few lives through the fantasy platform just the way he does through his immensely popular quiz show called Dadagiri.
“Happy that you spoke about a show that is close to me, but this is fantasy cricket. It is an exciting platform, you do not pick one team — national or state team. It is a combination of the best players but you are also balancing the points to pick a team. I met Toofan, who has got the better of my team during the World Cup. You feel good as well. Someone from Birbhum, staying in a mud house, working in paddy fields feels I know better than Sourav Ganguly. It gives him immense confidence,” the former Indian captain said at the launch.
But is this not conflict of interest as BCCI is sponsored by another fantasy platform?
“It is not,” says Ganguly. “If I was endorsing another fantasy cricket platform that would have been a conflict of interest.”
So what exactly is Sourav Ganguly’s role?
“For the India vs West Indies series Sourav makes his own team of 11 players from India and West Indies. Based on how those players do, he will be ranked among others who will also make teams. He is co-creating the platform here,” says Bhavin Pandya, co-founder and CEO of My11 Circle.
And there are apprehensions about the legality of the platform as well, Bhavin clears the air.
“In 2017, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana said in a judgement playing fantasy means that you have to really apply your mind. You have to think about what form the player is in, how he has performed on that ground historically, what is the right combination to have in terms of more batsman, more bowlers and how many all-rounders. You have to apply yourself. Wagering money on that skill.”
The app that started a year ago is number two in the space. With Sourav Ganguly and Shane Watson playing with the fans, they hope to draw many more to the platform.