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News

Ganguly hurt by Shastri's 'personal attack'

A day after Ravi Shastri said he felt disrespected by the absence of Sourav Ganguly at his interview for the post of India's head coach, Ganguly has responded by saying he was "very saddened" by Shastri's "personal attack."

A day after Ravi Shastri said he felt disrespected by the absence of Sourav Ganguly at his interview for the post of India's head coach, Ganguly has responded by saying he was "very saddened" by Shastri's "personal attack."
Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and former BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale were part of the cricket advisory panel to find a successor for Shastri, who had been in charge of the Indian team for 18 months until the World T20 in March 2016. The panel had met the final contenders, including Shastri, last Tuesday before Anil Kumble was given the job.
Controversy arose when Shastri told the media that a member of the panel had not been present at his meeting and that "that person was disrespectful of the candidate who was going to the interviewed and disrespectful to the job he was entrusted to do."
Ganguly was the one who had to miss Shastri's presentation because he had to attend the working committee meeting of the Cricket Association of Bengal, where he is president. He said he left for the CAB knowing the rest of the cricket advisory committee had the experience to make the right call.
"I just feel that the comments are very personal and if Ravi Shastri feels that I am responsible for him not being the coach of India, he's living in a fool's world," Ganguly told TV reporters in Kolkata. "It's a committee and there are people in the committee who are of more repute than I am and there are other people involved also who were consulted and spoken about. So that's disappointing.
"I am extremely saddened when he went on air, expressing his views, especially from someone who has been in every BCCI committee for the last 20 years. He has been in my position, you know, the position to select the coach. I don't think he's aware of everything."
Ganguly said Shastri's meeting was scheduled at 4.15 pm, but assessing the other candidates had taken a little more time than expected. Ganguly was expected at the CAB at 5 pm, and had already gained the BCCI's consent to temporarily leave the panel for this purpose.
"I had informed the BCCI on the 19th [of June] in an official mail that I will have to leave at 5 o' clock because the CAB working committee meeting was supposed to happen that day and being the president of the association, I'm supposed to chair the meeting.
"The working committee meetings get decided 14 days before the meeting and to cancel it is impossible. And this meeting was decided in two days. Ravi's meeting was at 4.15 pm in the afternoon and doing interviews with everyone it went past [that time] and we reached 5 o'clock.
"I requested the committee if I could come back at six o'clock and do it again, which they agreed. Once I came here to this meeting, I got a message from Mr [Ajay] Shirke [the BCCI secretary] that the other two members are requesting if they could continue with Ravi, which I was fine with. I said 'Fine, I know I have been stuck with this and you please go ahead and do it.' That happens everywhere in the world and that's the exact story."
Ganguly said he was also saddened that Shastri, a man who has worked with the BCCI for a long time and knew the hurdles administrative matters could throw up, had commented about him in such bad light.
"It's disappointing, being in such committees for 10 years, he should be aware of how it operates. I'm personally hurt because of what he said, of disrespecting, which was not the case. If that was the case, Ravi's interview would not have been slotted at 4.15 pm and I've got the mails."
Answering a question from India Today on what advice he would give Ganguly, Shastri had said "next time be at a meeting when someone is being interviewed for a position as important as that."
In response, Ganguly took offence to Shastri making his presentation via Skype instead of appearing before the panel in person.
"Since he's spoken about disrespect, and honestly I say this with anger, that he gave me a suggestion that in the future that I should be available for such meetings. I've been part of the BCCI for a while now and I make sure I'm available for such meetings.
"I have an advice for him also, when the coach of India is selected and it's one of the most important jobs in cricket, he should be in front of the committee giving his presentation and not sit in Bangkok on holiday and make a presentation on camera especially when someone who is one of the greatest cricketers of India all time spoke for two hours nearly, Anil Kumble."