Former Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly believes he is still good enough to play for India and is hurt by the way he is being treated.
Ganguly, who lost captaincy and his place in the team following his sensational spat with coach Greg Chappell, refused to pinpoint any particular person for his ouster but said there was obviously someone who did not want him in the team.
"It is difficult for me to pinpoint any particular reason but the bottomline is that I am out of the team for whatever reasons and that's what matters. I have just played two games in the last 12 months for India," Ganguly told a news channel in an interview.
Asked if Chappell was the one to be blamed for his omission, he said, "see obviously when I am not a part of the team, somebody does not want you to be in the team and that could be anybody. It is very difficult to pinpoint any particular person because there are a whole lot of people involved in team selection.
"I have seen that as a captain. Captain, coach, selectors, everybody is involved so it is very difficult to pinpoint any particular person. But obviously things did not fall together for a player to be picked."
On whether it hurts to be out of the team, the Bengal left-hander said, "it does, it does. Because I still feel I am good enough and that's the way it is. There must be something wrong which has kept me out."
Asked pointedly if coach Greg Chappell was responsible for his ouster, Ganguly said, "I don't want to point fingers at any individual and blame anyone. It is not just the coach, but captain, selectors -- they all select the team.
"There is obviously some reason why I am not in the team, these are not decisions that one person takes but it is obvious that someone doesn't want me in the team for whatever reason."
Ganguly though refused to go into the issue of his differences with Chappell.
"I do not want to go into this. I do not think it that way and I know one thing. If it happens to you, then all you can do is to sit back and watch. There is very little you can do. It's the same with me and no one knows it better than me. So it's better I do not talk because here the moment you talk, it will be held against you."
On his relationship with Rahul Dravid, who replaced him as captain, Ganguly said "we are the best of friends."
Ganguly admitted that it hurt to see players of his age group playing the game and he being forced to watch it from the sidelines.
"Obviously I feel sad because this is a team you have commanded for long... 11 years and captaining India in more than 50 Tests and a large number of ODIs, you will miss cricket because there are players of your age, around 33-34, and playing decent cricket. So you want to be a part of it."
On whether politics had something to do with his ouster, he said "What will I do by even thinking about it now? Dalmiya, Pawar, is there any point in discussing or pondering over what people are saying? Cricket is big in this country and people form their own opinion by saying a host of things."
On the raging ball tampering controversy involving Pakistan, Ganguly said Inzamam-ul Haq did what he thought was best for the side.
"See it's very easy to blame a captain. But then, he is there in the ground and he is the best judge. Inzy did what he thought was best for the side. At the same time, I also agree ball tampering is an issue associated with Pakistan for a very, very long time.
"But in today's cricketing world, with so many cameras you cannot escape anything... You smile it's there on the screen. So if Inzy is clear that there has been no ball tampering, then he must be confident in mentioning it. But it is a little difficult for me to sit here, miles away from the venue and comment by watching something on television."
Ganguly also dismissed suggestions that he would hang his boots after World Cup 2007.
"Why should I retire? I am still 33, I still am at an age where I have a lot of cricket in me. If I perform I will be there."
The batsman also scotched speculation that he would join politics after his career is over.
"(Chief Minister) Buddhadev Bhattacharya has been very good to me. He is a man of culture but that does not mean that I have any intention of joining politics."