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Selectors paint a bleak future for Sourav

Ganguly's hopes of staging a comeback suffered a setback with the selectors retaining the same squad for the next three ODIs, a decision which has virtually put a question mark on his future.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2005 15:03 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Deposed captain Sourav Ganguly's hopes of staging a comeback to the Indian team suffered a setback with the national selectors on Friday retaining the same squad for the next three matches of the series against Sri Lanka, a decision which has virtually put a question mark on the future of the Bengal cricketer.

The omission of the 33-year-old Ganguly, the country's most successful captain, means that the lefthander will have to continue playing domestic matches to keep himself in reckoning though he has already proved his fitness with a sparkling century in the Duleep Trophy match against North Zone recently.

With the selectors eyeing the 2007 World Cup and reposing faith in youngsters, Ganguly's comeback bid could prove to be quite difficult, particularly with the team having won the first two matches convincingly.

"We have lot of regards for him (Sourav).. He has been a great performer, a great captain..," was all Selection Committeee Chairman Kiran More had to say when he addressed a press conference after the selection meeting.

Though More said doors had not been closed on anyone and anybody could make a comeback, he underlined the fact that Team India now had its eyes set on the World Cup and would like to prepare a team in which frequent changes were not effected.

"We had a very good discussion. The (current) team has performed outstandingly and the youngsters are performing well. The body language is excellent," More said, adding "we should have good players before the World Cup."

Asked if Ganguly's ODI career was virtually over, More kept highlighting the deposed captain's past performances when he was doing well, but when a reporter made a mention about Sourav having proved his fitness and scored a ton in the Duleep Trophy, that did not seem to cut much ice with the selectors' Chairman.

What else he had to do to prove that he is fit to make a comeback, a reporter asked referring to Sourav's performance in the Duleep Trophy, to which More replied "we are looking at the World Cup. The youngsters should get 20-30 games. We need experienced players before the Cup."

Earlier, BCCI Secretary S K Nair said that they had decided to retain the same squad of 15 which played in the Nagpur and Mohali ties for the next three ODIs to be played at Jaipur, Pune and Ahmedabad.

Nair, in response to a question, said that the decision about leaving out Sourav was "unanimous".

Asked if some selectors had wanted Sourav back in the team, Nair disclosed that "these are confidential matters and we cannot disclose everything."

"We cannot tell who said what about Sourav?" he told the inquisitive mediapersons who wanted to know the final word on Sourav's future.

"The next selection will be made at the end of the fifth ODI," Nair said.

Coach Greg Chappell, skipper Rahul Dravid and Physio John Gloster also attended the selection meet.

More said the committee had also taken note of performances of some youngsters who played in the Challenger Trophy and the Duleep Trophy.

"We have some talented players and we discussed about them," he said.

Asked about John Gloster's presence in the meeting, More said he gave feedback about players' fitness.

About Mohammed Kaif, Anil Kumble and Ashish Nehra, he said they were currently undergoing rehabilitation programme and added that Kaif's fitness would be reviewed after the Pune match.

First Published: Oct 29, 2005 13:48 IST