Kolkata: Former Indian skipper and co-owner of ISL team Athletico De Kolkata Sourav Ganguly on Monday said the presence of eminent foreign players in the squad would help the local boys to raise their playing standards and of the game too.
"We picked a lot of city-bred players. Also foreign players are in our team. Out of the 22 odd players, eight of them are foreigners. The foreigners' presence will help the local players to raise their own standards while the quality of the game will also stand to benefit", Ganguly said here while Athletico De Kolkata announced their deal with Aircel as the principal sponsor of team.
"Going by my experience, my 1996 my debut at Lord's definitely helped me become a good cricketer. I had a fabulous Test series. I have immensely benefitted from seeing the foreigners playing there. My batting went to a different level," he said.
Referring to IPL, he said earlier the teams used to have players from the respective cities which changed after three years of its beginning.
"Now you see Gautam Gambhir is the captain of KKR while Dhoni who is from Ranchi is playing for Chennai Super Kings," he said.
"We will try to pick players from the city and strike a right balance", Ganguly said.
Stating that Athletico's vision would be to make the game a success, Ganguly said,"It is very exciting that something new will start from October 12 when the city team meets Mumbai City FC".
"This is a footbal crazy city and cricket took over from 1995. But football passion here," he said.
"Athletico will be an additional team along with East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. In the last derby between EB and MB, the turnaout was one lakh. I feel the same will happen on October 12."
He said that the team was on a month-long training session at Madrid.
"We sent the team there for training under Athletico De Madrid. We plan to give probably the best to our players and we plan to reach to the top." he said.
Ganguly said the team management had interviewed six or seven coaches who to go the various schools in the state to scout for football talent and start developing them to become good players.
The city team had roped in Luis Garcia of Spain as the marquee player and Antonio Lopez Habas, also from the same country, was appointed the head coach.