"There is no Kolkata Knight Riders without Dada", asserted team owner Shah Rukh Khan while rubbishing speculation that Sourav Ganguly was being sidelined by coach John Buchanan's idea to have multiple captains for the Indian Premier League's second season.
Shah Rukh said the team's decision to have multiple captains was in no way meant to sideline the team's icon player Ganguly, who has hardly minced words in ridiculing the concept.
According to the idea put forth by Buchanan, Ganguly will have to share the captaincy with three others -- New Zealand's Brendon McCullum, West Indies' Chris Gayle and Laxmi Ratan Shukla.
The Bollywood star said it was just an experiment and KKR would not exist without Ganguly.
"Let me tell you, there is no Kolkata Knight Riders without Dada. We love him," he said on the sidelines of a fashion show.
"We are a team and no decision is taken by one person. Twenty20 is a new format and new things are being tried. Too much has been said, we are not having four captains in one match. It's going to be one captain in one match," he said.
"But in case something goes wrong, we need to have a back-up," he added.
A joint-statement from the KKR management late Tuesday evening said: 'Needles to say the term multicaptains has raised few eyebrows and questions. The idea is to have a set of strategist as is always the case classically in cricket...who will form a team of four or five core experts in the field of fielding bowling, batting and data etc.
"These coaches or strategist will assist the one captain on field with their viewpoints on the game plan set earlier or shoot from the hip as the case maybe.
"The captain for the team is one and one only as is the case in most sports. Just the roles which are there in the regular format of the game as the fielding expert, batting coaches are being defined to be able to give quick suggestions as in case of baseball and some other faster pace sports.
"All internal decisions are taken collectively by the core cricketing team which comprises of John, Sourav, Matthew Mott and few others. There is no dissent on that ever. Even this confusion is caused because these roles got described as multiple captains a day before the joint press conference between John and Dada.
"We have immense respect for the two most senior members of our KKR team, all decisions are taken in tandem. As the team is not decided because of all the overseas venues changes etc, we will take the call on issues of captain, vice-captain, the team post the sessions in South Africa, prior to the first game.
"The reason for doing so is not to shirk the issue of who is the captain but to announce to all that together to make that a cohesive decision from the team management to avoid confusion like it has resulted right now. So please can we now lay to rest all theories on how John and Dada relate to each other and let us get on with the more important aspect of getting together the best team to play in the tournament."
The IPL second season starts April 18 in South Africa as a clash of dates with the general elections forced the organisers to move the event out of India.