Recounts how difficult it had been to axe Ganguly September 6, 2006

More argues for longer tenures to selectors

Cricinfo staff
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Kiran More - 'I agree selectors should be paid. They spend too much time doing this job, away from family and regular commitments' © Getty Images
Kiran More, whose high-profile and controversial four-year term as chairman of selectors comes to an end later this month, has said that, contrary to popular perception, he was not anti-Ganguly and believed Ganguly could still make a comeback into the national side.

"Sourav was in a difficult phase," he told Hindustan Times when asked about one of the toughest decisions of his tenure. "He was captain and had been a great player ... All of us had debated it long and I was very clear about it. The media hype made things worse. But when you are dropped, you need good people around you. I have been dropped and went through that phase when people around you attribute reasons to the dropping. India's culture is such that a person's dropping affects not just him but his parents, family, friends and the city. Soon, you forget about performing and instead, put on a performance. It is tremendous pressure and takes your focus off cricket."

However, he asserted that he is "not anti-Ganguly" and believed that Ganguly can make a comeback. "A strong domestic performance, a place in the team management's plan, an open slot. Most cricketers make five-six comebacks. I am not anti-Ganguly. I am against no one. Sometimes players get dropped and they glare at you, stop wishing you. Players have said a few things to me, have argued, I have put it out of my head."

More also felt the board needed to be flexible about the terms given to the selectors. "If someone is good, give him a longer term, even seven-eight years," he said. "Otherwise, if every year the appointment has to be made, then obviously a selector comes under pressure. He is only human."

Despite many criticisms against the selection system - John Wright, the former coach, went to the extent of comparing it to "horse trading" - More spoke about the benefits of having such a policy. "The system per se is not that bad, you need zonal representation because in a country as large as India, you need to see players from all over. Then, I don't think that if a selector is unpaid, he is not professional. Still, I agree selectors should be paid. They spend too much time doing this job, away from family and regular commitments.

"We tried to remove a zonal bias, and even in the West Zone we've tried to make changes. I am human, I can make mistakes but as long as I have done so in good faith, it is OK."

More also spoke about one of his biggest disappointments. "I really have to think [about regrets] but probably, Aakash Chopra. [He was] a fantastic talent and great temperament and we really believed in him and supported him after his knee injury but somehow, he just shut himself down - mentally more than technically, I think.

"If you see his scores before he played for India, they were all big, but then he slowed down. Perhaps what affected him was the media hype about technical perfection, about him being the best-equipped Indian opener in a long time, maybe technique took him over. It can be difficult to deal with, I know him very well and wondered. Only, the doors aren't shut for him, for anyone. An outstanding season, win a couple of games for your state, you're back in contention."