'Sourav a victim of double standards'
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'Sourav a victim of double standards'

Refusing to buy that Ganguly was axed keeping in mind the future, former national selector Sambaran Banerjee questioned Kumble and Laxman's inclusion.

india Updated: Feb 24, 2006 13:54 IST

Former national selector Sambaran Banerjee on Thursday said keeping Sourav Ganguly out of the squad for the first Test against England was a reflection of the Indian cricket board's double standards.

"He should have been in the team 200 percent because a good team is the combination of new and experienced senior players," said Banerjee.

"The selectors are claiming that they want to look forward. Then why have they taken Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman? I don't understand whether they are looking forward or backward," he said.

"It is a cardinal technical mistake to keep Ganguly out of the team."

"A solid middle-order batsman like Ganguly should have been in the team. In case of V.V.S. Laxman, they are not applying the same junior-senior criterion. Though the board says they are selecting the team looking at the future, actually they are maintaining double standards," he said.

"For that matter Wasim Jaffer is also not a youngster but he was not made to play earlier. Kiran More says he should be given a chance. Of course he should get a chance because if you don't play him now, then when," asked Banerjee.

Uttar Pradesh's Piyush Chawla, Vikram Rajvir Singh of Punjab and Suresh Raina and pacer Sreesanth, who played one-dayers for India, are the new faces in the squad announced Thursday.

Apart from Ganguly, pacers Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan were also dropped from the 16-member squad that toured Pakistan for three Tests recently.

Reacting to the news, Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) joint secretary Saradindu Pal told IANS: "It is unfortunate. If the BCCI wants to bring young players in the team it is commendable but Ganguly should be in the team till the next World Cup and not victimised repeatedly."

Ganguly was not available for comment as his mobile phone remained switched off after the announcement.

Yuvraj Singh and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu had recently said they regretted that Ganguly was axed from one-day matches when the former captain was batting well.

Ganguly has missed India's three ODI series in a row against Sri Lanka and South Africa at home last year and against Pakistan, which has just concluded in Pakistan.

He was Monday included in the 16-member East Zone team for the Deodhar Trophy scheduled to begin later this month.

First Published: Feb 24, 2006 13:00 IST