Apparently rattled by all-round criticism following Sourav Ganguly's sacking from the Indian team, and the sympathy wave that followed it, Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sharad Pawar sought to wash his hands off the episode by expressing shock over the decision.
Maintaining that it was the "sole discretion" of the selectors, he said he would discuss the issue with them in two or three days to understand the "process".
Following media criticism and rage among the former India captain's fans, particularly in Kolkota, the newly-elected president, who worsted the Dalmiya camp in the recent Board elections, first said team selection is the sole discretion of the selection committee and he and his office-bearers have nothing to do with it.
But, later, he went on to say he was surprised by the Bengal left-hander's sacking.
"As a cricket lover, I am hurt and shocked over the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly from the Indian team. In the Delhi Test his performance was satisfactory. Also, he was a victorious captain and we feel proud about him," he told reporters in Delhi, brushing aside talk that politics was behind the decision.
Dismissing the charge, Pawar said, "Selection of a player is the sole right of the selection committee. I was told that the decision of the selection committee to not include Ganguly was unanimous. I have not discussed it with Kiran More or any other member. The selection committee also comprised a member from the East Zone.
"As per the practice, selection is the sole authority of the selection committee and the president or the office-bearers have no right to interfere. But whenever the team tours abroad, the prior approval of the president is required."