Is it end of the road for Ganguly?
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Is it end of the road for Ganguly?

Have the doors been shut completely on India's most successful Test skipper?

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 20:26 IST

Have the doors been shut completely on India's most successful Test skipper?

That would be the question uppermost in the minds of fans as National Selection Committee Chairman Kiran More clearly stated on Thursday that there would be no "looking back on the Sourav Ganguly issue."

".... As far as this committee is concerned, we are looking at the future. It was a very important decision for us. We are going to stick to the youngsters," More said after announcing the 15-member Indian squad for the first cricket Test against England.

Ganguly, who was earlier ignored for the Test against Sri Lanka in favour of Yuvraj Singh, could not sneak into the squad even after a vacancy had been created by the injury-induced absence of the Punjab left-hander.

The selectors decided that Mohammad Kaif deserved a place in the squad ahead of Ganguly, a stalwart of 88 Tests and 279 one-day internationals.

Kaif has played eight Tests and scored 307 runs at an average of 21.92.

Asked about the reasons for axing Ganguly, More said, "we are looking for future and not looking back. This committee does not want to discuss on this issue again.

"We have the tour of West Indies coming up, there are other series coming up, and there is also the World Cup in 2007. We want to have the Test and the one-day teams to be same as possible."

More, who had maintained all along that the doors had not been shut on any player, was more categorical in his approach on Thursday.

"It was a tough call (to drop Ganguly). I have gone through such a circumstance. Anybody who has played for India, whether it is one Test or 100, and given 100 percent, it is a honour and that honour is respected," he said.

When asked further about Ganguly, an irritated More said the selection committee had not met to discuss any one player.

"There are 15 players to be discussed. Why don't you ask about Dhoni who has performed very well," he said.

Ganguly, who figured in two of the three Tests in Pakistan, has been in and out of the team ever since his spat with coach Greg Chappell during the tour of Zimbabwe in 2005.

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 20:26 IST