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No speculating on Sourav: Lara

"I don't know. I'm not a selector," was the West Indies captain's take on Ganguly issue on the sidelines of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 16:00 IST

Ever the diplomat, West Indies cricket captain Brian Lara wouldn't speculate on the return of his former Indian counterpart Sourav Ganguly but thinks that the wise men who will decide on that are "considerate".

"I don't know who will come in his (Sachin Tendulkar's) place. I'm not a selector. The Indian selectors are very considerate," he finally said in response to a barrage of questions on the Ganguly issue on the sidelines of the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week.

He also lamented the absence due to injury of Tendulkar from the Indian team that tours the West Indies later this year.

"Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid and the others are great stars and are very popular in the Caribbean. It is unfortunate Sachin has an injury and we are hoping for a speedy recovery," Lara said.

Tendulkar has been ruled out of the game for eight weeks after undergoing shoulder surgery in London late last month.

There has been speculation that Ganguly, who has been dropped from the Test and one-day sides due to his poor form and an apparent row with coach Greg Chappell, could take Tendulkar's place.

Lara, who is the MRF brand ambassador, visited the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai and will spend a few days here before heading for Mumbai on his way home.

"India is my second home. I'm always happy in India. It's a very intriguing place. There is always something to learn" he said, adding that the fashion week venue was "very scenic, very social. I'm looking forward to seeing some shows."

He reacted in mock horror when asked whether he too would stride down the runway.

"I don't think I have the physique for such things. I'm a cricketer, not a model," he maintained.

When it was pointed out that Indian cricketers like Harbhajan Singh and Irfran Pathan had no hesitation in participating in fashion shows, Lara retorted: "They're models, I'm not," perhaps an indication he disapproved of such extra-curricular activities.

How fashion conscious was he?

"Oh well, not bad," he responded with a rather toothy smile.

Asked about the preparations for the World Cup that the West Indies will host in 2007, he replied: "The infrastructure is coming up, the governments are involved and it's going smoothly."

"Everything is on stream. I hope to see a number of Indians coming out (for the World Cup) and supporting us. The Indian team is very popular in Trinidad and Tobago because the population there is 52 percent Indian," Lara pointed out.

How did he rate the West Indies in the World Cup?

"I think it's going to be a great World Cup. Everyone will give their best and it's going to be a great show," was his diplomatic reply.

The West Indies had won the inaugural edition in 1975 and repeated the effort in 1979. India prevented a three-in-a-row in 1983 and since then the Caribbeans have been in the doldrums - their best effort in a major tournament being their 2004 Champions Trophy victory.

They have, however, been regularly winning triangular tournaments.