(Sourav, Chappell) at war should have gone’
- A good captain is one who is a
good man manager:
LOKENDRA PRATAP SAHI 15.10.05
Tony Greig is in his 60th year, but
hasn’t lost any of his zest for life. A former England captain and, in
recent years, a much-in-demand TV commentator, the one-time allrounder
spoke to The Telegraph on the captaincy developments back in India. Easily
among the most popular cricketers to have toured India, Greig has been
keeping track of the happenings in Bangalore and in Calcutta. Mohali, too.
captains have a shelf life
captain has been captain for life… It has always been a matter of time…
Talking of myself, I never forgot what my father told me when I became the
England captain — ‘Before you get too excited, just look at what happened
before your time’… And, on a close study, I realised most predecessors had
to go before they were ready to leave! So, I took the job with that at the
back of my mind. (After a pause) In a funny sort of way, when I joined
Packer’s World Series Cricket, it was me doing something before they (the
selectors) doing something to me.
Ganguly’s removal as captain
appreciate the resilience it takes to be an Indian captain for any length
of time… Sourav, I understand, was captain for over five years… Because of
the fanaticism in India, you could do a reasonably good job but, because
of one defeat, still lose the captaincy… That’s unfair, yet is always a
possibility (in India)… It appears Sourav’s row with coach Greg Chappell
influenced the selectors and, therefore, both the parties at war should
have gone. Ironically,
Sourav played some
role — albeit behind the scenes — in getting Greg on board.
It’s of huge
importance and, if Rahul Dravid keeps the job long term, then he has the
right to work with a coach he’s comfortable with. There have been
instances when coaches, not players, have been beneficiaries of
continuity. In my view, that’s not correct. I’m not in favour of
continuity of tenure for only one powerful position. That can encourage
off-the-field power play and politics.
On Sourav and
Chappell having a tussle over who will be the boss
The captain has to be
the boss — why this debate? The coach is part of the support staff and is
around to back the captain. The coach is certainly the most important
there but, then, he remains on the support staff. We must not confuse
cricket with soccer.
assessment of Sourav as captain
I’m not a big one for
rating people… However, Sourav’s captaincy did impress me, not least
because of the pressure he had to take. India needed somebody like him
and, frankly, he wouldn’t have been around for so long if he was touchy.
That he is the most successful Indian Test captain can’t be taken away
Sourav has it in him to make a comeback purely as a batsman
First, he has to ask
himself whether he wants to… I don’t rule out anything, but you don’t get
better with age… Once in the 30s, it becomes difficult…
message for Sourav
Get fit, work hard at
nets to iron out some of the problems… As I’ve said, he has to first ask
himself whether he wants to continue playing.
On Dravid getting to
captain in 12 ODIs on the trot
What worries me is that one-day matches may go either way and it won’t be
fair to judge him on the basis of ODIs alone… I know he’s an intense guy
and has his priorities in place, but…
Dravid’s batting could suffer
That’s a different
issue. Fact is some handle captaincy situations better than others… I
can’t say… If his batting suffers, Dravid is himself going to be the one
to give it away.
On whether he
modelled his own captaincy on somebody
Well, I looked up to
Ray Illingworth… The earliest captain does make an impression.
essentials for captaincy
Let me answer your
question this way: A good captain is one who is a good man manager…
Obviously, he has to be an automatic selection and, then, have the
qualities to manage not just the senior players but the coach as well.
Finally, whether there’s currently a stand-out captain
No one’s great… Stephen Fleming isn’t much different from a Michael
Vaughan and Vaughan isn’t much different from a Ricky Ponting… I wouldn’t
like to place anybody on a special pedestal.
WHY SAURAV THROWN OUT
AFTER DELHI TEST
— KIRAN MORE , CHAPEL GIVE ANSWER
Ganguly deserved better treatment
NEW DELHI: Sourav Ganguly has found overwhelming support from all corners
of the country. The selectors’ decision to exclude him has not been
received well and the consensus is that the former skipper deserved a
It is sad. Sourav did not deserve this. Not after his wonderful
contribution to Indian cricket. Sourav is not the first cricketer to have
suffered but then let us ensure that such dirty episodes are not repeated.
But that is the BCCI for you. These officials will not offer any
explanation for such a poor step. Ill-treating top cricketers has been the
trend in our cricket and it is indeed tragic when you look at Sourav’s
immense effort in raising a good side and standing by his players.
There can be no justification for the manner in which the selectors
have handled things. Things could have been better. What was the hurry to
take such a decision. They have been very, very unfair to Sourav. This is
no way to treat a national icon. In any case, how do you justify his
exclusion when he has scored runs and contributed in the team’s victory.
It is clear that the selectors have different yardsticks for different
people. That is why I have always said that there should be fewer
selectors and they should be cricketers of stature. My heart goes out to
Sourav. He simply did not deserve this shoddy treatment.
It shows the immaturity of the selection committee. They have shown
utter disregard for someone who has contributed immensely to Indian
cricket and he certainly did not deserve this kind of treatment. What have
the selectors tried to prove?
Sourav is a national hero and you don’t insult your heroes.
There have been precedents when selectors have handled things poorly but
nothing to match this. There is simply no cricketing merit in his
Patil: Same ground
and same hotel. I had suffered a similar fate in 1984 and never played a
Test again in my life. So I can understand how Sourav feels.
It is a shocking decision that defies
logic. Normally a player is dropped after failure but
here Sourav had scored runs in both innings. He was involved in two
partnerships that helped the team win the match. The issue could have been
dealt with in better fashion. The
selectors are not justified at all in dropping him after having brought
him in just a few days ago. It was a bold decision no
doubt. The argument could be that Indian cricket has to move forward
because some youngsters are waiting for opportunities. But the selectors
have made a mess of it really. They may not be answerable for their
decisions but then there is no consistency here.
If I were a selector, I would have spoken to him. He has been the
captain, done well for the country, looking at his contribution we could
have told him what we had in mind. Maybe after consulting him we would
have taken a decision. He deserved this much of a farewell. The signs were
there that they would drop him. Maybe they wanted to be fair to a
youngster like Yuvraj Singh. But I would have preferred someone talking to
him. He is a big player no doubt. They should have waited for one more
Nothing could have been
more illogical. Ridiculous decision I must say. First you
drop him, then bring him in, put him in the eleven, ask him to score runs.
He scores runs and then you show him the door. Very, very unfair. In the
last Test, Sourav was included instead of Zaheer Khan because the
selectors thought he was a batting all-rounder. So when Sourav is dropped,
logically Zaheer should come in. But they bring in an opener, who should
have been there in the first place. It would have helped avoid experiments
like Rahul (Dravid) and Irfan (Pathan) opening the innings. Can there be
any comparison between Sourav and Yuvraj (Singh). They have only insulted
a senior cricketer for all the good work he has done as captain.
This wasn’t cricket
The culture of our sport and our society demanded that Sourav Ganguly
Deserved to choose his exit; instead, his lifeline was rudely cut
Posted online: Friday, December 16, 2005 at 0110 hours IST
We preferred the guillotine to the red carpet, offered a lonely waiting
room not a warm handshake. Alas! When the time comes for a member of the
family to leave, we go to see them off, hand over a gift, maybe, and
always wish them well. This is courtesy. When the hard decision has been
taken, courtesy must take over. We let ourselves down.
A decision to end the career of a fine performer and former leader is not
taken in 20 minutes, don’t let anybody kid you into believing that. This
decision would have been preceded by informal discussions, a meeting
maybe, at least a day before. The match was sewn up, there was enough time
to speak to Ganguly and offer him a polite exit; to allow him to lead his
team on and off the field.
Certainly he deserved that option. We show our culture in the manner we
treat those that depart, not as much those that arrive.
Sadly, Ganguly cannot realistically hope to find his way back into this
team. When you are armed with a telescope you don’t look behind and I will
be surprised if he is part of the debate at future selection committee
meetings. He needs to blast the door open or hope the power structure
changes again and, after the annual spring cleaning, there is a more
favourable committee to decide on his future. By then the fire might well
In all fairness, the manner of his inclusion in the first place was wrong.
He had to make it among the seven best batsmen or not at all. There was a
diktat and no wordplay can hide that. But a wrong to undo another wrong
isn’t a sign of distinction; an eye for an eye will hurt everybody. You
will hear people say that there is no sentiment in sport. Of course there
is. A touch of sadness, a bit of joy, a lump in the throat and hope in the
breast, that is what we watch and play sport for. Take away sentiment and
emotion and sport grows cold.
You may or may not agree with his exclusion but there is at least thought
in it. If his performance in Zimbabwe was an indicator, he would have
struggled against pace and, truth be told, he probably would not have made
that team unless there was a huge hundred at Ahmedabad. And India needed
Yuvraj to play as much Test cricket as possible while in this kind of
But we offered Ganguly a lifeline, even if some believed inappropriately,
and we needed to see it through.
While one player is shown the exit, another will march through the front
door in style. Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly are both tough cricketers
but they make a study in contrast. The resolute trier versus the
temperamental performer, strength and silence versus flamboyance. Kumble’s
has been a staggering career and it will now be a hundred test matches
Over the last 15 years he has gone about his job with great commitment and
resolve; with hardly a tantrum and with one of the largest hearts you will
see. Such people exist too. Like Mr Sreedharan who, without a fuss, builds
an underground railway system in the heart of Delhi. Like our various
election commissioners who conduct elections in Bihar and Kashmir without
calling photographers and boasting about their feats. Like Anil Kumble.
These are the real pillars of India. They give modesty its rightful place.
We must admire Kumble’s work ethic, emulate his perseverance and marvel at
his aggression. I haven’t heard him complain and he was left out of the
one-day side too. He needs to be India’s vice-captain in Test matches and
should be on the BCCI’s cricket committee now. He will give nothing less
to it than he has given for India on the field.
In his 99th Test match, he has taken 10 wickets and is actually going
through a purple patch just now. The leg break to get Samaraweera and the
slow loopy spin that got Atapattu were brilliant deliveries and showed
their possessor has a very keen inquisitive mind. That has been Kumble’s
strength and it is something a younger generation, within sport and
outside, could well emulate.
Now he approaches a magnificent hundred and I will be very interested in
seeing how Indian cricket rewards this humble giant. But there will be
respect in the home and away dressing room and after the fickleness of
fame and prosperity have been dusted away that is what a performer wants
to possess. Kumble will have it forever.
When he is through with the game every Indian cricket lover must stand up
and applaud. Even if the system merely gives him an economy ticket back to
LS to discuss Sourav Ganguly’s exclusion from team
Indo-Asian News Service
Kolkata, December 16, 2005
controversy over Sourav Ganguly’s exclusion from the team,
Lok Sabha will discuss the issue next week.
Responding to a submission by Mohan Singh (SP) that the issue should be
added in the agenda for next week in the House, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee
said: “I have allowed this to be added in the agenda. The issue will come
up for discussion.”
He said that great “injustice” had been meted out to Ganguly, who is a
great world class player, due to politics in the game.
“Such incidents will affect the morale of young players and we must take
corrective measures,” he added.
Chappell’s views prompted selectors to drop Ganguly
Press Trust of India
New Delhi, December 16, 2005
Committee’s decision to sack Sourav Ganguly from the Test squad was
understood to have been largely influenced by coach Greg Chappell’s views
on team composition for the Ahmedabad match aided by those of captain
Chappell was keen to give more opportunities to Yuvraj Singh who has been
in very good form and the selectors decided to respect the views of the
team management, a reliable Cricket Board source said on Friday.
The source said Chappell insisted on a regular place for Yuvraj in the
playing eleven which made it difficult to accommodate Ganguly in the
One of the selectors did support Ganguly’s retention in the team but his
view was overwhelmed by that of others, the source said, disputing reports
that the sack decision was unanimous.
Ganguly was dropped from the team for the third Test against Sri Lanka
beginning in Ahmedabad on Sunday, a decision which has triggered off
demonstrations in Kolkata and evoked strong reactions from former
cricketers and politicans.
Apparently rattled by all-round criticism over the way the deposed captain
was sacked and a sympathy wave created by it, top Cricket Board officials
including President Sharad Pawar sought to wash their hands off by
expressing shock over the decision and promising to discuss the issue with
the selectors in the coming days.
The source claimed that no Cricket Board official had called up the
selectors before the meeting or had put any pressure on the committee to
“There was no pressure on the selectors by Board officials. The decision
to drop Ganguly was taken by the Committee and nobody had influenced it”,
the source said.
“Since the team management was not keen to have Ganguly in the playing
eleven, he could not be kept in the reserves. So he had to be omitted,”
the source added.
I am not quitting:
Indo-Asian News Service
Kolkata, December 16, 2005
Former captain Sourav Ganguly says he will not quit but will work towards
a comeback, even as an overwhelming 98 per cent opined in a West Bengal
SMS poll that he was a victim of the BCCI’s politics.
Though he maintained a stoic silence all through Thursday as angry mob
agitated outside his Behala house, blocked road and rail traffic, a city
daily on Friday quoted Ganguly as saying: “There’s plenty of tough cricket
coming up… I’m not quitting. I’ll be working towards a comeback.”
An SMS poll conducted by Bengali channel Star Ananda found 98 per cent
viewers believed that Sourav was a victim of the politics of the Board of
Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Though touched by the moral support of the people of West Bengal and
celebrities from the world of film, theatre, arts and business, Ganguly
otherwise kept mum before the media.
He remained at home most of the time Thursday and participated in a prayer
ceremony apart from meeting former BCCI chief Jagmohan Dalmiya.
Dalmiya has reportedly assured Sourav that the Cricket Association of
Bengal (CAB) would back him to the hilt. Meanwhile, politicians from the
state are planning to take up the issue in Parliament if their pleas to
the BCCI failed to cut ice.
Communist Party of India (CPI) MP Gurudas Dasgupta said he would try to
take up the matter in Parliament, though ideally it should be dealt with
at the board level.
Decision against Ganguly
unanimous and irreversible: Niranjan Shah, Secretary, BCCI
Vadodara, December 16, 2005
Despite the mounting pressure, BCCI Secretary Niranjan Shah on Friday said
the decision of the National Selection Committee to drop Sourav Ganguly
from the Indian squad for the Ahmedabad Test against Sri Lanka was
“unanimous” and thus “irreversible.”
Mr Shah, also convenor of the committee, said that the Board of Control
for Cricket in India (BCCI) would not like to interfere in the matter of
selection of the Indian squad.
“BCCI President Sharad Pawar has already clarified that selection of
players is the sole discretion of the selection committee,” he added.
On the agitation by Ganguly’s supporters and their demand for his
recalling in the Indian squad, the BCCI Secretary said, “Selection is
selection. If anybody interferes in the selection of players, there is no
end to it.”
Describing as “unnecessary” the protests and demonstrations being held in
Kolkata in support of Ganguly and against coach Greg Chappell and chief
selector Kiran More, Mr Shah said this sort of agitation was not new in
Moreover, Mr Shah said, it was the job of the selection committee to pick
up the best team without showing any fear or favour.
Meanwhile, a local daily today quoted Kiran More to have said that
“decision about Ganguly was taken unanimously at the selection committee
meeting and…There was no pressure whatsoever from any of the board members
on the committee.”
More also reportedly ruled out the possibility of any move on the part of
the committee to recall Ganguly in the Indian team for the Ahmedabad Test.
Good win. But why was
New Delhi, December 15, 2005
Call it irony or the politics of cricket. Immediately after Rahul Dravid
named Sourav Ganguly, among others, as one of the contributors in India’s
victory over Sri Lanka on Wednesday, the selectors announced the latter’s
axing from the team.
They also announced Dravid as captain for next month’s tour to Pakistan
and for the subsequent home series against England. An honour that Dravid
deserves, given the imaginative and professional manner in which he has
handled this team, especially in the aftermath of the Greg Chappell-Ganguly
spat which was threatening to divide the team.
On the same dais from where Dravid and Anil Kumble, the major bowling star
in the win, had addressed the press, sat chairman of the selection
committee Kiran More and BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah — both Sharad Pawar
It is a sad reflection on Indian cricket that when Wasim Jaffer’s name was
announced as Ganguly’s replacement, the first thing that struck most was
that Jaffer is from Mumbai, the city to which Pawar belongs. The immensely
talented Jaffer — he went to the West Indies and England but was never
given an extended run — would hate to be seen as someone who is not there
in his own right.
When a reporter asked whether the decision was based on vendetta, as the
man replacing the Kolkatan (Jagmohan Dalmiya’s city) belongs to Pawar’s
place, both More and Shah got upset.
Their reaction: “Don’t attribute such motives, this is not fair.”
Immediately after, More and Shah walked out in a huff.
Though it is now almost impossible for Ganguly to make a comeback, he has
not given up. “I’ll go back and play domestic cricket and try to fight my
way back into the team,” he said.
Against the backdrop
of Ganguly’s return for the first two Tests and the subsequent removal of
the three selectors who were Dalmiya’s men, the obvious inference to draw
would be that the new selection committee — all Pawar’s men — has evened
Going by cold, cricketing logic the return of Jaffer makes sense — the new
supremo of Indian cricket, Greg Chappell, had wanted a pool of openers for
the tour of Pakistan.
That Yuvraj Singh is a special talent and deserves to play in the XI and
that Mohammed Kaif cannot be kept waiting for eternity also mean Ganguly’s
place was tenuous.
But if this was the line of thinking, why was Ganguly brought back in the
And he may have not
made huge scores at the Kotla, but his contribution to victory was not
mean. His partnership with Sachin Tendulkar in the first innings and with
Yuvraj in the second came at crucial stages.
Ganguly surely deserved another chance at Ahmedabad. That he was not given
one raises a huge question mark over the way the BCCI and the selectors
Kolkata: EAS Prasanna expressed shock and disappointment at the axing of
Sourav Ganguly from the team, saying the stylish left-hander has been
given a raw deal.”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 said. “He has served
Indian cricket for years. You can’t treat such a cricketer so shabbily.”
Prasanna said if the selectors were determined to drop Ganguly, they
should have told him so frankly.
“To sum up, I feel that history has repeated itself. This is the manner in
which we have been treating our heroes.” (PTI)
Ganguly should let his
bat speak in Ranji: Gavaskar
Sudeshna Sarkar (IANS)
Kathmandu, December 16, 2005
Former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar said Sourav Ganguly should
take things easy and show his class in the domestic matches to claim his
place in the Indian squad.
“That’s cricket. I never had to face a situation where I was dropped … but
you have to take the rough with the smooth,” said Gavaskar, whose world
record for the highest number of Test centuries was last week bested by
“Sometimes you score 0, sometimes 100. If the previous ball beat you,
forget it and concentrate on the next ball. Sourav should win heaps of
runs in the Ranji Trophy and make a statement,” he said.
Gavaskar said he experienced “a sense of relief” when Tendulkar went on to
break the record. “It was a relief for Tendulkar as well,” he said.
“That century has been coming for quite a while. Records are meant to be
broken. That’s a sign of human progress.”
That Tendulkar was a fellow Indian and had so of much talent was what made
the joy all the more, said Gavaskar.
Gavaskar, currently in Nepal as a goodwill envoy to promote tourism, said
the ideal way to promote cricket in the Himalayan kingdom would be to hold
matches between the ‘A’ teams of Nepal and its SAARC cricket-playing
neighbours - India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“‘A’ teams are taken very seriously as they have two to three players from
the senior teams and some have also played in the national teams,” he
The cricketing legend also met the members of the Nepalese under-19
cricket team and encouraged them.
Talking to reporters about his future plans, Gavaskar said he would like
to open a cricket academy.
“I have some land in Mumbai, but there are some difficulties due to the
conditions put by the government for sponsors.”
“Once that is smoothed out, I will start my academy,” he said.
The author of the best-selling autobiography “Sunny Days” said he was so
busy meeting deadlines for his columns that he had not thought of
producing a sequel to it.
Gavaskar brought down the house with his repartee replying to a query as
to why he never wore a helmet even against the pace bowlers.
“I didn’t have anything to protect inside,” he said.