New Delhi, Jun 2: Indian Premier League season 5 champions Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir said he never felt out of place in the state, which is obsessed with the Prince of Bengal and Pune Warriors captain Sourav Ganguly.
In the next season, Gambhir hopes to turn into a complete Bengali boy and also start learning the language quickly.
"So next year when I reach Kolkata for the IPL hopefully I'll be a complete Bengali boy. I think when I was picked for KKR last year there was a lot of talk (as to) whether people would support me or support KKR," said Gambhir.
Gambhir lauded the fans support for his team received in the previous seasons and they deserved every bit of success in IPL 5.
"For whatever reason, the love they've shown for me has been great. The kind of support they've shown in the first four years when things weren't going KKR's way was great. The kinds of crowds we've got for the games last year and this year has been tremendous, so I think they deserve every bit of what they are getting. They deserved to win the IPL and we've delivered," he said.
A lot hype was created prior to the much-anticipated clash between Kolkata and Ganguly-led Warriors at the Eden Gardens, Gambhir said: "Before the Pune Warriors game there was a lot of hype that Bengal will be divided again, and the kind of support that I got from people serving us food in the hotel to the common man, people who were driving cars, cab drivers, everyone said ‘'KKR is our team and we will go all-out to support KKR'’. That is what forced me to say that there is only one team that belongs to Kolkata, and that is KKR."
After three unsuccessful IPL seasons, Kolkata dropped Ganguly making way for Gambhir to lead the side. But the Delhi batsman did not feel he is replacing the Bengal legend.
On the removal of Ganguly from the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gambhir said: "I was not replacing anyone. I have my own identity, my own passion, and my own skills. I didn't even think of replacing anyone. Not even once did I think that I had replaced Sourav Ganguly. Time moves on, things move on, and you need to move on as well. KKR's owners decided to move on and they gave me a responsibility and a job that I wanted to do with honesty. I wasn't thinking about anything else."