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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 111

Ganguly Syndrome at work again

By RAMU SHARMA

Sourav Ganguly has been martyred again. For no fault of his, the former India captain has hit the headlines and all for the wrong reason. The whole drama has been given substance merely because he was not selected for the Rest of India team for the Irani Trophy. The unfortunate aspect of the whole controversy is the involvement of former cricketers who should have known better than to lend their name to such discussion. And one of them, a former coach has gone as far as to suggest that Ganguly’s omission has very little to do with his cricketing ability. I think that observation was totally uncalled for and particularly from somebody of the standing of Sandeep Patil.

The non-selection of a player for a major match particularly before a series generally is a cause for speculation. In the case of Ganguly, quite a few observers have jumped the gun and have drawn conclusions to suit their own way of thinking. That could be because Ganguly has been through some similar experience dating back to the Greg Chappell era. Then, at that stage, he was the captain and was not pulling his weight with the bat. Now he is on a comeback trail and with some amount of success. But the selectors, when they omit someone, could well be thinking of digging up other out of favour cricketers to give them a chance.

Thus if Ganguly has been kept aside, Md. Kaif has been recalled into consideration. Fair enough. The selection here does not necessarily mean that Kaif is automatic choice to play in the series against Australia just as it does not mean that Ganguly would be kept out of the series. The selectors have a right to give chance to as many people as possible while keeping out obvious candidates for selection. And this point has been clarified by the selection committee. Why then all this drama.

It is indeed a pity that the former India captain has a habit of getting into all sorts of controversies, though not of his making. And it is indeed sad that some people, including politicians, have had a tendency to give a regional twist to a somewhat straight –forward selection norm.

It must be understood that no player, no matter how popular he is, is honour bound to be picked for the country. No player is indispensable though certain names like Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev in an earlier era and Sachin Tendulkar in the current phase are given extra consideration. Perhaps it is wrong and hence the heart-burning on occasions. But overall the selectors try and do the best they can. That must always be acknowledged.

For all the drama surrounding Ganguly’s non-selection, one must remember that the former India captain and three or four other players are all in the autumn of their cricketing careers and it is only a matter of time they will all be calling it a day, on their own, or at the instance of the selectors. The Sri Lanka series is a testimony to the general form of the seniors. Ganguly and Tendulkar both failed to do well but the latter, possibly because he has been away from cricket for a longer period, is persisted with for the annual Irani match in the hope that he would get the much needed extra practice. One does however wonders if the whole exercise of the Ganguly controversy is indirectly aimed to draw attention to Tendulkar’s patchy batting these days.

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