Sourav Ganguly a star attraction for the throngs

A crowd had gathered on the other side of the ground, across the pavilion, waiting patiently in the sun for the main attraction of the tournament to emerge - Sourav Ganguly.

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DUBAI // As Sussex and Durham battled for a place in the final of the Emirates Airline Twenty20, an enthusiastic crowd was gathering on the other side of the ground, across the pavilion, dotting the main cricket oval of The Sevens as they waited patiently in the blazing sun for the main attraction of the tournament to emerge.
It has been more than two years since Sourav Ganguly last appeared on the international stage, but he still remains a huge crowd favourite. In India, his legion of fans remains intact. In Dubai, he is still a celebrated man.
"I have come to watch Sourav," said Prashant Chandra, a Dubai-based cricket coach who hails from Ganguly's hometown of Kolkata.

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"I have played a bit of cricket back home against him, so I am really excited to see him again."
The fans got their wish as Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the team Ganguly was leading, batted first against Nottinghamshire.
The left-hander, who has scored more than 18,500 runs in his international career, did not open the innings. But the fans did not have to wait for long as an early wicket brought the "Prince of Kolkata" to the middle.
The first ball was patted back for a quick single. After the second, the former India captain had to walk back to the pavilion after his back leg dislodged the bails as he rocked back to play off his ribs.
Nobody seemed to have noticed the displaced bail till the bowler pointed it out.
The players and umpires conferred and Ganguly had to make the long trek back into the pavilion.
"I played after a long time actually," said Ganguly after the game, which his team lost by three wickets. "It's good to come around, good atmosphere and all. It's good fun.
"It was strenuous, but I have been part of the MCC for a long time. I played for them last year against Pakistan also, when they had the Twenty20 game at Lord's. It's their annual fixture and I keep playing for them in the annual fixture."
Ganguly was the second wicket to fall, with 21 on the board, but his team recovered to post 154 for seven. The game seemed headed for a close finish, but an unbeaten 48 from Chris Read carried Nottinghamshire into the final.
For the title, the English county champions faced Sussex, who had earlier defeated Durham (90 for nine) by nine wickets.
Batting first, Sussex put 141 for five on the board with Christopher Nash (30) and Joe Gatting (34) keeping the innings together at the top before Andrew Hodd blasted an unbeaten 22-ball 29.
A belligerent, unbeaten 76 by Samit Patel, coming off just 44 balls, took Notts across the line without much ado.
They reached the target in 17 overs, losing only two wickets, with Samit's sixth six being the winning stroke.
As Notts return home with the trophy, Ganguly will be returning empty-handed, but the Indian will have another big game today: the World Cup final in Mumbai.
Ganguly will be part of the television commentary team who will be giving voice to the action coming through from Mumbai as both India and Sri Lanka chase their second World Cup titles.
"It's two good teams, but I just have a feeling that India have an upper hand," Ganguly said.
"You cannot predict in any game, any final, but I just feel it's India's turn to win.
"Although Sri Lanka were in the World Cup final last time in 2007, they are here again, but it just gives me a feeling that India will win this.
"I think they have just got better as the tournament has gone on, especially in the quarter-final stage where it mattered the most. They really, really played well.
"To be honest, beating Australia and Pakistan, the two big teams, to get into a final; Sri Lanka, on the other side, beat England and New Zealand, two relatively weaker teams than Pakistan and Australia. That's why I feel India have the edge in the final."