Ganguly denies talks of joining ICL

Updated on May 28, 2007 02:19 PM IST
The former India captain denies reports of joining the breakaway league and flays the media for writing one-sided stories.
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IANS | ByQaiser Mohammad Ali, Chittagong

Sourav Ganguly, here for India's upcoming Test series against Bangladesh, on Wednesday clarified that he was not joining the breakaway $1 million Indian Cricket League (ICL) of an Indian news channel.

"It's not true. There are a lot of false stories going around," Ganguly said after the team's practice session at the Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium.

"There are too many sources (based stories) going around. It is important that you print names of the people you speak to, whether on the record or off the record, when you write a story," he said.

India's Zee television recently announced that it would sign some top current and recently retired Indian players, along with well-known international cricketers, for huge sums for the six teams that will compete in the ICL this year.

Former India captain Kapil Dev has been signed as chairman of the ICL, with former wicket-keeper Kiran More, former skipper England Tony Greig and former Australian cricketer Dean Jones are the other members of the board.

This league by the Subhash Chandra-headed Zee group is seen as a challenge to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the governing body of the game in the country.

Ganguly was speculated as a possible candidate to join the ICL, though Zee did not confirm or deny the news.

The left-handed batsman, who will play his 92nd Test starting here Friday, said he has got used to these kinds of media reports in his long and successful international career.

"I have got used to it. I know there is a lot of competition for news, but some thought and clarifications is needed before printing such stories. We have to get responsible at some stage," he told reporters.

"It's not fair to print one side of the story. Am just a phone call away."

Asked how he was feeling after coming to Bangladesh, Ganguly, who is extremely popular in this country, said that he felt at home here.

"I don't think it's a foreign country. It's pretty much like India. I enjoy coming to Bangladesh."

"I captained India in Bangladesh's first Test here in 2000," he said of the Test that India won in Dhaka.

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