Supporters turn on coach and selectors December 15, 2005

Protests follow Ganguly's axing

Cricinfo staff

Protests in Kolkata © AFP
Some fans have reacted angily to the dropping of former captain Sourav Ganguly for the third Test against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad, with protests in his home town of Kolkata and throughout the state of West Bengal.

Protestors blocked roads and railway tracks, condemning what they claimed was the injustice of the decision. Effigies of Greg Chappell, India's coach, and Kiran More, the chief selector, were burnt and their pictures were garlanded with shoes in Esplanade, a business hub, and elsewhere in the city. Crowds marched through the streets, chanting slogans like, "We want Sourav back" and "Chappell, More go to hell."

Asoke Bhattacharya, West Bengal's urban development minister, said Ganguly was a victim of the Indian board's politics, and added: "There is no logic in dropping him after his performance in the Delhi Test."

Fans were waiting at Kolkata airport when Ganguly returned late on Wednesday and later gathered in front of his house shouting support for him. There were chaotic scenes at the airport, and Ganguly was rushed to a waiting car and sped off.