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Ganguly – Leads the news in the media

Posted by Sathyamurthy www.sathyamurthy.com on December 15, 2005

That Ganguly is an important figure in the Indian Cricket is underlined by the fact that his omission became prime headline news in all media – print or electronic!!!

Here are some news clips!

The Hindu

Ganguly dropped

S. Ram Mahesh

The BCCI selectors who met captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell after the match named Dravid captain for next year’s tour of Pakistan and the series against England. They also dropped the former skipper Sourav Ganguly from the squad for the third Test against Sri Lanka. Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer earns a recall to the side.

The end of a chequered career?

Vijay Lokapally

NEW DELHI: It took five hours of intense deliberations to include him for the Chennai Test but a mere five minutes to show him the exit, effectively shutting a glorious chapter in Indian cricket.

“Unanimous decision in five minutes” was Kiran More’s declaration at the National selection committee’s decision to axe the former captain from the team for the Ahmedabad test.

For all his services to the team in the past five years, Ganguly, the lone change in the team, was not even informed or spoken to by any of the selectors, who also chose to ignore the tradition of retaining the winning squad.

The victory over Sri Lanka was overshadowed by the momentous decision of the selectors to end Ganguly’s international journey. For the left-hander to script a comeback from this stage would obviously mean a gigantic effort. The selectors are convinced he has no place in the team and rule out any chances of Ganguly making it back.

Does it signal the end of an era? It does, for Ganguly’s stellar influence on the team, recorded in glowing terms even by his opponents, had not been a factor when discussing the left-hander’s future.

Dalmiya cries foul

Sports Reporter

KOLKATA: The former BCCI President, Jagmohan Dalmiya, has said that dropping Sourav Ganguly from the Test team was unjust on the part of the selectors. “I do not know why he has been removed from the team. I think a little injustice has been meted out to him,” he said reacting to the news of the former captain’s sacking on Wednesday.

Mr. Dalmiya, who is the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, said the way Ganguly played the two innings in the just-concluded Test against Sri Lanka he “should not have been dropped in the interests of the team.” He felt the former captain had shown good form and played a responsible innings.

“I saw him play both the innings. He was playing for the team and looked to be in good form,” he said.

PTI reports:

Meanwhile, the West Bengal’s Municipal Affairs Minister, Ashok Bhattacharya, said Ganguly had been “a victim of a deep conspiracy which should be opposed by all.”

“Some members of the Board of Control for Cricket in India have a grudge against Ganguly and they have been instrumental in deciding on his removal,” Mr. Bhattacharya told reporters here.

TIMES OF INDIA

Sourav Ganguly – bowled Board Politics!

Sourav Ganguly’s unceremonious exit from the Indian team on Wednesday was disgraceful. But though the proceedings that followed India’s 188-run victory were a shameful way to sideline the former Indian skipper, they didn’t come as a shock, especially considering the way Indian cricket is run. Politics, many would believe, got Ganguly so deep into the series in the first place. That Sourav was branded a “batting all-rounder” by the Jagmohan Dalmiya regime to force him into the side, and then made to bowl only 2 overs in the seven days of cricket that followed, tells a tale. Without enough chances, his “all-round” worth was destroyed with the precision befitting a seasoned assassin. Although, Ganguly displayed his worth with the bat, it just wasn’t enough. The final blow came when Dalmiya was voted out of power and the referee-count ended on Wednesday. Politics giveth, and Politics taketh away. The balance of power has shifted and so have the preferences. Indian cricket remains the same, trapped in a vicious web of power-brokers. (AP Photo)

No light at the end of tunnel

In past, some stalwarts have been known to play politics in the team but for the first time a group of selectors, not much-known gentlemen, played a dirty joke on a performing player.

Ironically, things which naked eye fail to catch can be best viewed in video-tape, thanks to technology. Do we need a ‘spy camera’ in selection committee meeting?

Cricket lovers as well as tax payers in this country have every right to get an unabridged version of the proceedings. The filtered story will not suffice the fans any more.

This is not the first time that the phenomenon of corrupt choices has surfaced. But the scale of the dishonesty is new and disconcerting. Do we need to remind our esteemed readers the notoriously famous phrase – a bunch of jokers? Time for couplets is over and it’s high time that cricketer-turned-commentator Mohinder Amarnath should re-play his ‘story’ on the national channel.

A team on the growth path is always hungry for a dose of optimism. But the wise men in the selection committee have given a dosage of opium to the well-wishers of Team India.

At present, Team India is facing the problem of too many but it should not deflect attention from the fact that decisions relating to selection in the national side are driven by hardcore political compulsions.

On Sourav Ganguly’s surprise exclusion from the squad of the third Test, skipper Rahul Dravid said it was a ‘happy problem’ in having to decide between Yuvraj Singh and Ganguly for the next Test. “I don’t think it is a problem. If you call it a problem, it is a happy problem. It is a good problem when we have two or three players doing well (for one slot). “It is not going to be right on whoever is left out, but that is the way international cricket is,” he said. (Reuters Photo)

A subtle hint before the axe


NEW DELHI: Skipper Rahul Dravid must have obviously known of the decision to omit Sourav Ganguly when he arrived for a media interaction scant minutes before selection committee chairman Kiran More dropped the bombshell, and the first hint was when he said – when queried on the problem of plenty facing the Indian middle-order – that it was “not going to be easy for whoever misses out”.

But few read between the lines and the news still came as a shocker. After announcing the extension of Dravid’s captaincy tenure till the England series, More nonchalantly added that Ganguly had been dropped to make way for Wasim Jaffer, and that Yuvraj Singh would bat at number 6. After soaking in the stunned silence which followed, More added, “We have Yuvraj who has performed very well, so it’s not fair to drop him. Sourav played well, but Yuvraj is in great touch and cannot be kept out any longer.”

He virtually made it clear that Ganguly’s chances of a comeback were bleak by adding that the team had been chosen keeping the upcoming Pakistan and England series in mind, which, More explained, “are going to be very tough and hence we are looking at developing Yuvraj as a middle-order mainstay”.

More added: “We did not want Ganguly at No.6. We want Yuvraj to play there. It’s also not done keeping Sourav in the squad and then not playing him. We are also keeping the future in mind. We want to give opportunity to a player who can go on for six years or more. It’s just that Yuvraj is in great form and has been batting well in the One-dayers too. We also have the likes of Mohammed Kaif and the talented Suresh Raina to add to the bench strength.”

More, however, clarified that this did not imply Ganguly’s international career was over, saying: “Doors are definitely not closed for him.” He added that Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer’s inclusion was solely to bolster the top order and keep a reserve opener handy if Gautam Gambhir failed to find form. “Gautam has done well, but of late he has not clicked and we thought a reserve opener was lacking. Our middle-order is strong. There are no issues there. Jaffer has been doing well in domestic cricket and has the experience and ability to play fast bowlers.”

Lonely exit for stunned Sourav

NEW DELHI: He maintained a studied silence, but the bloodshot eyes and drawn face said it all. As Sourav Ganguly alighted from the team bus to pack his bags, it was painfully clear he was still struggling to come to terms with the shock he’d been dealt.

As the rest of the country celebrated India’s win over Sri Lanka, Ganguly’s mood was sombre. The media crowded around him, trying to get a comment but the man known for his expressive words and gestures simply put his head down and walked silently into the hotel.

He was joined there by wife Dona and daughter Sana. The two were enjoying a day out in the city when the news of Ganguly’s ouster was announced. Dona immediately rushed back to the hotel.

She found a lonely, isolated man. According to sources close to Ganguly, “Apart from being hurt by the dropping, he was also shocked that not one of the senior players visited him in the room for more than four hours”.

Only one of the stars went to meet the former skipper – and he didn’t want to talk about it.

For now, though, Ganguly isn’t contemplating retirement. Always a fighter, he is unlikely to quietly fade away. “But he is still reeling from the shock and is utterly disappointed,” a source told TOI.

Maybe there will be another day for Dada. On Wednesday, though, it was time for him to enter a white car and make the long, lonely drive – to the airport and into exile.

Out! Yours unanimously

Seven men (five selectors, captain and coach), four walls, 20 minutes, one topic. And then the proverbial bells tolled for Sourav Ganguly.

“I swear on my daughter that the decision to drop Ganguly was unanimous,” national selection committee chairman Kiran More tells ToI. Keep the faith in More because his report on Ganguly’s omission isn’t greatly exaggerated. An insider reveals that, counting the coach and captain, it was a 7-0 verdict to impose the axe effect on the batsman who scored 40 and 39 in the Delhi Test.

“It was indeed a unanimous decision to drop Ganguly – nobody wants him in the team,” says the insider. “The 20 minutes spent on Ganguly during the 35-minute-long meeting were stormy ones. It was felt that, apart from not having been consistent with big scores in recent times, Ganguly lacks motivation and is a poor fielder compared to Yuvraj. Besides, his bowling isn’t exactly Test quality.” He’s that bad. Or so seven men with a say in the selection process feel about Ganguly.

This begs the question: why then was Ganguly picked for the Chennai and Delhi Tests? “If Ganguly was picked for the Chennai Test, it was simply because he had scored a ton in Zimbabwe and had to be given a chance. After he failed in Chennai, it was a direct contest between Ganguly and Yuvraj in Delhi. Though both scored almost the same number of runs, Yuvraj, who is in good form, was by far the more fluent batsman. With Sehwag returning for the Ahmedabad Test, it was obvious who had to go.”

Ta-ta, Dada. Because, as BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah tells ToI: “Ganguly has been dropped because there is no slot for him in the team.” And there is no space for him in the squad of 16 either because, as the insider says: “Ganguly is a senior player; you can’t pick him and then bench him… specially when his alleged lack of motivation can rub off on other players.”

Officially, there is more straightforward explanation for Wasim Jaffer (an opener) replacing Ganguly (a middle-order batsman). “Ganguly has been dropped on cricketing grounds,” says a selector. “With Mohammed Kaif in the squad, the middle-order has back-up; it is the opening slot that needs bench strength.

With Gautam Gambhir struggling in Chennai and Delhi, we need an extra opener before the Pakistan series in January 2006 and this was, perhaps, the best time to take this decision.” Ganguly could have got better treatment, no?

“What do you mean by better treatment?” counters the selector.

With More stating that the selectors have the Pakistan tour in mind, is it the end of the road for Ganguly? “Can’t say,” says Shah. “Ganguly has to prove his form in domestic cricket.” Even then, the odds on a comeback by Ganguly are near-zero. As the insider says: “There’s Yuvraj, there’s Kaif… who will he replace? Finally, it’s not lack of runs alone that have gone against Ganguly.” And thereby hangs a tale.

“Unfortunate but you have to accept it. In a way history repeats itself, same venue, same hotel, 21 years ago on 17th December, I was also dropped after top-scoring in both innings against England. I never played Test cricket after that. I have gone through a similar situation. To move forward you have to take some bold decisions and if Indian cricket needs Kaif, Raina then you have to stick to them. The larger interest here is Indian cricket. I personally feel sorry though for Sourav.”

Should he quit? “I won’t say so. He is not past his prime. Look at how Sidhu, Mohinder Amarnath came back after being dropped. Sourav can too.” – Sandeep Patil

“Very unfair decision. It appeared the selectors were hell bent on taking this call. Sourav has performed well and did what he was asked to. First you pick him as an all-rounder and then don’t give him bowling. There is no logic in the whole thing since they have brought an opener for an all-rounder. What surprises me most is that Zaheer has not been considered again. Sourav was chosen as an all-rounder ahead of Zaheer. And now if Sourav is dropped, shouldn’t Zaheer be brought back.”

Should he quit? “No way. He is a proven material, he should go back to Ranji Trophy, keep scoring runs and prove everyone wrong. He is still fit enough and has enough cricket left in him. Both Mohinder Amarnath and I would do the same thing everytime we were dropped.” – Anshuman Gaekwad

“Normally I don’t get shocks, because anything can happen in our country. It is rather unfortunate that Sourav has been dropped. If winning combinations are retained, but they have clearly not followed that option. I would not know what went through the selectors’ minds when they dropped him.

Should he quit? “I don’t think so. He has got a lot of cricket left in him. He has vast experience and his inclusion will only add moral support to the team. I am sure with his fighting qualities he might just come back. What’s more, this exclusion could act as a motivating factor and inspire him further. He can look at my example from 1986 to 1993 I played domestic cricket, but could never comeback to Indian team. It was always banging against a wall, but never give up.” – Syed Kirmani

“I am shocked. I don’t think he should have been treated like this. He performed quite well in the Delhi Test (against Sri Lanka). Dropping him from the third Test defies logic. He has served Indian cricket for years. You can’t treat such a cricketer so shabbily. They should have given him the opportunity to call it a day. That would have looked better. He should have been allowed to leave the game on his own. This is the least that he deserved.” – EAS Prasanna

“No one can raise a finger at Sourav’s performance in Delhi. He was involved in good partnerships. I am shocked. I am running short of words to explain how i feel. I have not heard the selectors give any logical explanation for his removal. Till I get to know the reason, I will find it very difficult to digest the decision. The five wise men have set standards even higher than in Australia. If that be so, they should apply the same yardstick to other players.” – Kirti Azad

Sourav’s removal ‘motivated’

KOLKATA, Dec 14: Hinting that Sourav Ganguly had been made a victim of BCCI politics, Cricket Board’s former joint secretary Goutam Dasgupta on Wednesday alleged that the talented left-hander’s removal from Test squad was “motivated” and “guided by reasons other than cricket”.

“This decision is unfortunate and irrational. Ganguly paved the way for an Indian win in the Delhi Test by batting responsibly and forging good partnerships in both innings. How can they even think of dropping him?” an upset Dasgupta said.

Finding fault with the logic advanced for dropping the cricketer from the side for the Ahmedabad Test, Dasgupta told PTI “When Ganguly was kept out of the one-day squad, some people put forth the argument that a winning combination shouldn’t be disturbed. Then how come Ganguly has been axed only hours after India won the Test?”

“This decision is motivated. Performance has not been the criterion for his removal,” he said.

“Definitely, there is something other than cricket behind this decision. It defies logic. And there is more to it than meets the eye,” Dasgupta said.

THE STATESMAN

Ecstasy & agony: India wins, Sourav dropped

Elora Sen in Kolkata
Dec. 14. – India completed the formalities today, cruising to victory over Sri Lanka at the Feroze Shah Kotla. But then came the bombshell – Sourav Ganguly dropped for the third and final Test at Ahmedabad against Sri Lanka. Mr Kiran More, chairman of selectors, hinted that Ganguly was kept out to give younger players a chance keeping in mind the forthcoming series against Pakistan and England.

Ganguly’s one-day career is already widely reckoned to be over given the emphasis on building a team for the 2007 World Cup. Now, the death knell seems to have been sounded for the Prince of Kolkata’s international career as far as the authorities are concerned. Yet, those close to Ganguly said he would not give up hope just yet and would most likely continue to prove his mettle in the domestic circuit.

It is true that the veteran has been battling a prolonged slump in form. But after having lost the captaincy and his ODI berth, he seemed determined to make a mark in the ongoing Test series. With most of the Chennai match being washed out, interest was centred on the second Test in Delhi and here, even his sharpest critics would not be able to say he failed.

His diligently crafted scores of 40 and 39 may not have set the stands afire but both innings came at a time when India had lost quick wickets and he played the sheet-anchor role enabling the team to consolidate.

Mr More gave as one reason for Ganguly being dropped that the younger “Yuvraj Singh… (who) had a good match” would be accommodated in the playing XI for the next Test and it would therefore “not be right” to pick Ganguly only for him to be relegated to the reserves. But Yuvraj looked much less comfortable than Ganguly at the Kotla.

While the stamp on the decision is that of Five Wise Men aka selectors, BCCI sources said that the “team management’s inputs” (read coach Mr Greg Chappell, captain Rahul Dravid and some senior players) were vital. And they obviously no longer see a place for him in the team. They seem more comfortable when he is not around, is the buzz.

Read – Pawar the Actor

Click Here to read my own comments on this ugly episode

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