Rediff Logo
Channels: Astrology | Broadband | Contests | E-cards | Money | Movies | Romance | Search | Women
Partner Channels: Bill Pay | Health | IT Education | Jobs | Travel
Home > Cricket > News > Report
July 30, 2001

 -  News
 -  Diary
 -  Betting Scandal
 -  Schedule
 -  Interview
 -  Columns
 -  Gallery
 -  Statistics
 -  Match Reports
 -  Specials
 -  Broadband
 -  Archives
 -  Search Rediff

 Search the Internet

E-Mail this report to a friend

Print this page

Ganguly comes under fire

Qaiser Mohammad Ali

India captain Sourav Ganguly, suspended for a match in the triangular one-day series in Sri Lanka, appears to have few friends.

Former India Test spinner Maninder Singh even wants vice-captain Rahul Dravid to take over captaincy from Ganguly, 29, who has been under attack in recent times for his performance both on and off the field.

"Rahul should be made captain rightaway, and Sourav should be relieved of the burden of captaincy so that he can concentrate on the faults he has developed in his batting," Maninder Singh told IANS.

Ganguly has been struggling with the bat lately, the poor form starting with the home series against Australia this year. He made only 14 runs in the two Tests in Zimbabwe, but did slightly better in the triangular one-day tournament later, scoring 197 runs five innings at 39.40.

In Sri Lanka, he has so far scored 78 runs from three matches, with 69 coming against Sri Lanka on July 22.

International Cricket Council match referee Cammie Smith suspended Ganguly for a one-day international for showing dissent when he was given out leg before wicket against New Zealand in a Coca-Cola Cup tie in Colombo on Thursday. Ganguly showed his bat to the umpire, indicating that he had touched the ball with it before it hit his pads.

However, Ganguly's absence had little effect on the Indian team Saturday, as it routed Sri Lanka by seven wickets to keep alive its chances of reaching the August 5 final.

While terming Ganguly's gesture to the umpire as his "bad habit", Maninder also pointed out inconsistent supervision by Smith, a former West Indian Test batsman.

Chetan Chauhan, a former India opener and team manager, maintained that if a player went against the laws of the game or its spirit, referees are justified in taking strong action.

"I do not think ICC referees are biased against the Indians or find them easy to punish (as some believe)," he explained. "Smith was by and large okay during the series against Australia."

Gurcharan Singh, a former coach, also pulled up Ganguly. "Any player who breaks the rule should be punished," he said. "Once you have been given out, you have to go."

While stating that referees are not biased against India, he said it all boils down to a player's attitude. "When some players reach the highest level in Test cricket, they think they have become gods," remarked Gurcharan. "It has everything to do with their temperament."

But Atul Wassan, a former pace bowler, termed Ganguly's suspension too harsh, but said the left-hander's track record may have influenced the referee.

Many former players feel Ganguly's aggressive attitude often attracts referees' wrath. But Wassan argued: "A player will always show some natural reaction."

It is the third time Ganguly has been pulled up by an ICC referee for showing dissent.

The first incident took place during the third Test against Australia at Bangalore in 1998, when he was suspended from a one-day match by referee Peter van der Merwe of South Africa. He showed dissent again while playing against Zimbabwe last year.

Indo-Asian News Service