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Former players hail Ganguly's timing to go

cricket Updated: Oct 07, 2008 19:00 IST

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Perfect timing has been the hallmark of Sourav Ganguly's batting and the stylish left-hander chose the right time to call it quits, believe former players.

Former captain Bishan Singh Bedi, a bitter Ganguly critic at some point, today hailed the left-hander, calling him a 'legend' of the game.

"I would like to celebrate his retirement, rather than mourn it because of his enormous contribution to Indian cricket. A great player, a legend of the game has hung up his boots and we all should celebrate his contribution," Bedi said.

"I'm not surprised since such a possibility was doing the rounds. It looked very much on the cards. I think he thus became a forerunner among the senior players and I hope he went on his own terms," he added.

The spin legend, however, appealed to all to treat senior players with lot more respect.

"We've to deal with them with lot more compassion and respect. Players like Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman are great cricketers and should not be ridiculed," he said.

Chief selector K Srikkanth said Ganguly had spoken to him and fellow selector Narendra Hirwani before announcing his retirement.

"We had a chat with him and he felt it was his time (to go). Every now and then, the axe was on him and he said, 'Chika, let me play once without any pressure.'

"I pray he scores a lot of runs against Australia and India win the series. Because guys like Sourav Ganguly deserve to go out on a winning note," Srikkanth said.