Former captain nurses hopes of playing for India again September 1, 2006

'I still feel I am good enough' - Ganguly

Blame game: "The captain, coach, selectors, everybody is involved so it's very difficult to pinpoint any particular person" © AFP

Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian captain, has insisted that he is still good enough to play international cricket and is disappointed with his continued exclusion from the team.

Ganguly, who has not played for India since February, was included in the preliminary 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy to be played in India in October. On Sunday the selectors will pick the final 14-member squad for the tri-series in Malaysia starting on September 12.

"It hurts, it does hurt to be out of the team," Ganguly told CNN-IBN. "I still feel I am good enough and that's the way it is. There must be something wrong which has kept me out."

Ganguly, India's most successful Test captain with 21 wins, was sacked from captaincy in October 2005 and later eased out of both the Test and one-day squads following a row with coach Greg Chappell. Chappell described Ganguly as a "disruptive influence" in an email to the Indian board last September which was leaked to the media.

"It is difficult for me to pinpoint any particular reason but the bottom line is that I am out of the team for whatever reasons and that's what matters," said Ganguly. "I have just played two games in the last 12 months for India. Obviously when I am not a part of the team, somebody does not want you to be in the team and that could be anybody. The captain, coach, selectors, everybody is involved so it's very difficult to pinpoint any particular person."

Ganguly said that to be out on the sidelines was tough. "Obviously I feel sad because this is a team you have commanded for long," Ganguly told Press Trust of India. "Eleven years and captaining India in more than 50 Tests and a large number of ODIs, you will miss cricket because there are players of your age, around 33-34, and playing decent cricket. So you want to be a part of it."

He also said that there was no point thinking about whether politics had anything to do with him being removed as captain. "Dalmiya, Pawar, is there any point in discussing or pondering over what people are saying? Cricket is big in this country and people form their own opinion by saying a host of things."