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Kolkata rocks as Ganguly gets a lifeline

Fans went berserk with the news of their 'Prince' on a comeback trail for the Indian team after a forced 8-month gap.

india Updated: Aug 10, 2006 11:42 IST

With their favourite 'Prince of Kolkata' on a comeback trail for the Indian team after a eight-month gap, celebrations broke out on city streets on Wednesday with youngsters bursting crackers and shouting slogans eulogising the cricketer.

Delirious scenes were witnessed near Ganguly's Behala residence soon after the former national captain was included in the list of 30 probables for the upcoming Champions Trophy.

Cricket fans, holding potraits of the left hander, gathered in strength near the Gangulys' palatial building on Biren Roy Road in the south crying 'Sourav Ganguly zindabad', and 'Sourav Banglar gourab'.

There were protests in West Bengal with angry sports fans organising street and rail roko denouncing coach Greg Chappell and chief selector Kiran More after Ganguly was axed from the Indian team last year.

Since then, he got a national call-up only once, in the away Test series in Pakistan eight months ago.

Cricket Association of Bengal joint secretary Saradindu Pal said that he was 'happy' at Ganguly's inclusion.

"I am happy. But this was expected. I think he has been recalled because of his experience," he said.

Former Bengal Ranji Trophy cricketers also expressed relief on Ganguly's inclusion.

He appealed to the selection panel not to 'insult' Ganguly and senior pro Anil Kumble by keeping them out of the final squad.

"If you include such senior players among the probables, and omit them when announcing the final squad, that I feel will be unethical," said Banerjee, a former wicketkeeper-batsman who led Bengal to victory in the Ranji Trophy.

Another former selector and Indian Test opener Pranab Roy said, "It's good scope for Ganguly to prove himself. He has now got a lifeline, and it remains to be seen how he utilises it."

First Published: Aug 10, 2006 11:42 IST