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Discuss: Should Ganguly play at Kanpur?

Last updated on: April 14, 2005 18:33 IST

Saurav Ganguly is banned for six ODIs.

The selectors pick Rahul Dravid to lead; they pick Sridharan Sriram of Tamil Nadu to replace Ganguly in the ODI squad.

A day later, the ban is appealed, and effectively stayed. Ganguly can now play in Kanpur.

The rapidfire developments raise a series of questions:

1. Is the Indian skipper above the laws of the game? In November of 2004, he was penalized for slow over rates. The ban was appealed, and overturned. On Tuesday April 12, he was penalized for the same offense. Again, the ban has been appealed and is sought to be overturned.

By contrast, Pakistan skipper Inzamam ul Haq was banned for two Tests, for slow over rate during the recent Test series between India and Pakistan. He -- and the Pakistan Cricket Board -- accepted the punishment the offense deserved.

2. Ganguly was dropped from the squad, following the announcement of the ban. BCCI chief Ranbir Singh Mahindra points out that since he is no longer in the squad, he cannot play in Kanpur.

The selectors can, if they so desire, meet again and undo what they did on Tuesday evening; they can drop Sriram and reinstate Ganguly, thus clearing the decks for him to play in Kanpur. Question is, is this fair to Sriram.

3. If Ganguly plays, can he also lead? Should he? How fair is this to Rahul Dravid -- a player in form, who finds himself appointed captain and stripped of captaincy all inside 24 hours, for no fault of his?

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India's banned cricket captain Sourav Ganguly will not be part of the Indian squad for Friday's One-day International in Kanpur even though the ICC permitted him to play pending an appeal against the suspension, Board of Control for Cricket in India secretary S K Nair said on Thursday.