Ganguly leaves hospital as oil brand's 'heart healthy' ads pulled

Kolkata (AFP) –


Indian cricket chief Sourav Ganguly left hospital on Thursday as a cooking oil company withdrew adverts featuring him because of the heart attack he suffered.

Hundreds of youths gathered outside the hospital as the 48-year-old walked out accompanied by his wife Dona.

"I am absolutely fine and hope that I will resume my work soon," the Board of Control for Cricket in India president and former national captain told reporters.

"I also hope to fly soon," he added.

Ganguly suffered a heart attack while working out in a gym on Saturday and was rushed to hospital where he underwent an angioplasty operation.

"His heart today is as strong as it was when Sourav was 20 years old," cardiac surgeon Devi Shetty told reporters.

"Sourav can participate in a marathon, fly a plane, or even get back to cricket if he wants without this event being any setback."

But a series of cooking oil adverts featuring the cricket icon have been pulled off the air because of the incident. Ganguly says in the adverts that the oils are "heart healthy".

Social media users accused the oil brand Adani Wilmar, co-owned by Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, of making false claims through a cricket hero.

The company said it was "a very unfortunate incident and can happen with anyone" as they confirmed a halt in the commercials.

"The ricebran oil is not a medicine but only a cooking oil. There are several factors which affect heart ailments including dietary and hereditary issues," Angshu Mallick, Adani Wilmar chief executive, said in statement.

"We shall continue to work with Sourav and he will continue to be our brand ambassador. We have only taken a temporary break in our TV commercial until we again sit with Sourav and take things forward."

Ganguly retired from Test cricket in 2008 having scored 7,212 runs including 16 centuries. He also scored 11,363 runs in 311 one-day internationals.