Cricinfo Exclusive March 5, 2006

More shuts the door on Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly: a return to international cricket looks highly unlikely © Getty Images

Sourav Ganguly will not be recalled into the Indian team as long as the present selection committee is in office, Kiran More, the chairman of the five-man committee, told Cricinfo in an interview last evening.

Following Ganguly's exclusion from the first Test, More had made a statement that "there is no looking back on this issue now", which had been varyingly interpreted by the media. More clarified to Cricinfo that the reference then, and now, was to the tenure of the current selection committee, rather than just the present series against England.

"We took a decision that we have to look ahead," he said. "We decided that so much has been said on this issue, that we wanted to send a message across that, `this is what we are looking at, and as far as this committee is concerned, this is what we have decided, that we will not look back at all." More further spelt out that the committee was "definitely looking beyond" Ganguly even if he were to perform well in domestic cricket.

About the public and media pressure generated by the decision, More said: "Pressure is always there in any job and it is a good thing. You have to make some strong decisions. That's why you're selecting the Indian team."

The team for the second Test against England at Mohali is to be announced this evening. Ganguly, meanwhile, is slated to play for East Zone tomorrow at Jaipur in the Deodhar Trophy, the domestic zonal one-day tournament.

More's comments were part of a wide-ranging interview, taken before Sharad Pawar held meetings with the Indian players and coach late on Saturday night. The full interview will be published soon on Cricinfo.

Rahul Bhattacharya is contributing editor of Cricinfo Magazine and author of Pundits from Pakistan: On Tour with India, 2003-04