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Srikkanth lauds Ganguly's decision to retire
Our Correspondent | October 07, 2008 18:24 IST
Last Updated: October 07, 2008 18:41 IST
"He had a chat with me and my co-selector Narendra Hirwani on the ground. Then we had a chat in the dressing room later with the coach [Gary Kirsten] and captain [Anil Kumble [Images]], where we discussed the decision. That is where he conveyed to his team mates about his decision to retire," informed Srikkanth in Bangalore on Tuesday evening.
Srikkanth also made it clear that the decision was in no way influenced by the selectors.
"Please do not give any other angle to it. It was his decision that he wanted to quit," he said.
"Sourav Ganguly is one of the best cricketers India has produced, one of the best captains that this country has produced," Srikkanth said, paying rich tributes to India's most successful captain.
Ganguly was left out of the Irani Trophy match between Rest of India and Delhi [Images] by the previous selection committee, headed by Dilip Vengsarkar. That match was seen as a selection trial for the Australia [Images] series, but the new selection committee included Ganguly for the first two Tests against the Aussies.
There were reports circulating after the selection meeting that the selectors had brokered a deal with Ganguly that the upcoming series would be his last and it would provide him a chance to make a graceful exit from the game.
But the chief selector dismissed all such theories and gave the real reasons for Ganguly's decision to quit after a career spanning 109 Tests.
"He feels it is time for him. He feels that every now and then there is an axe hanging on his head. He feels that it would be good for him if he plays with a free mind; now he can do that," Srikkanth said.
"I think it is the right decision. I hope now he plays with a free mind and scores a lot of runs and wins this series for India. I think he deserves it because he has done so much for the country," he added.
Former chief selector Kiran More, who shared a stormy relationship with Ganguly, said it was a big decision by the left-hander.
"He has done a fantastic job for the country. He probably wanted to go on a high and it was a good opportunity against Australia," More said.
Ganguly, the overall fifth-highest run-getter for India, is among only seven batsmen in the world to cross the 10,000-run mark in one-day internationals. He led India to 21 wins in 49 matches before he was sacked in 2005.
Former captain Bishan Singh Bedi [Images] said it is not a time to feel sad, but elebrate, because Ganguly deserves a grand farewell.
"His contribution has been enormous. A great Indian cricketer, a legend has hung up his boots. I hope he has done it on his own terms," Bedi said.
Kapil Dev [Images], another former skipper, welcomed Ganguly's decision but felt nobody should put pressure on senior players to quit.
"Nobody talks about retirement of the Board officials but they only put pressure on seniors, who are great players and should leave on their own. Nobody but the players themselves should decide when to go," he said.
Venkatapathy Raju, a former selector who played alongside Ganguly, said he was not shocked by the decision and felt it was right.
Complete coverage: Australia in India 2008
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