The beginning of the end
From Anil K, United States
So, the squad for the Irani Trophy has been announced; and it excludes the name Sourav Ganguly. The Irani Trophy is certainly not the same as a Test series, but in this case it appears just that. One of the selectors is reported to have stated that Ganguly's future is not necessarily over; and that he may find favour from the new selection panel. That means that he is already out of favour from the existing panel.
Ganguly has found himself out of the selectors' favour before also; but then he had the backing of his age. His contribution to Indian cricket is immense, both in terms of his personal achievements and for his aggressive, deterministic leadership, and no one disputes that. However, everything has an end and so does Ganguly. On one hand, such a decision by the selectors is in the right direction for Indian cricket: someone younger and agile can take his place, and perhaps will contribute more than Ganguly would have. However, on the other hand, there are two troubling aspects of such a decision.
First, should not the BCCI think seriously and sincerely on how to engineer a respectful exit for Ganguly, who, statistically so far, is the most successful Test captain of the country? Public pronouncements of his failing to bat and field are factually correct but tactically deplorable. And, this should be not just for Ganguly but also for Dravid and Tendulkar. They are all legends. Every legend begins unceremoniously but deserves a fitting end. Second, the Trinity of Ganguly, Dravid and Tendulkar knows that each one of them has been a genuinely great cricketer, and that a big innings may come anytime. However, they seem not to realize that they are currently not performing well, that they do not have many years to keep playing, and that many young aspirants are already aspiring to get the selectors' nod.
This tendency to keep themselves pushing ahead will earn them a bagful of money and a few hundred runs, which will not be statistically great addition to what they already have gathered. However, this tendency will also tell their own fans that all that the Trinity is displaying is a sheer greed. Sooner than later they will fall in the eye of their fans. But, it is still not too late: they can quit now and remain adored for ever.