Indian cricket selector angry at no show



NEW DELHI, ? India's chief cricket selector Kiran More has denounced former captain Sourav Ganguly for skipping domestic cricket ahead of next month's tour of Pakistan. Ganguly, a controversial selection for the tour, missed Bengal's two first-class Ranji Trophy matches against Karnataka and Gujarat despite being asked to play by More.

"I am surprised and shocked that Sourav is not playing against Gujarat,'' More said after the four-day game began in Surat on Sunday, while Ganguly spent Christmas with his family in Kolkata.

"This was the ideal time to get some match practice before the Pakistan tour. I demand an explanation because he missed the previous match against Karnataka as well.''

More said he had asked Bengal selector Pranob Roy and team coach Paras Mhambrey to ensure Ganguly played first-class cricket after being dropped from the third Test against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad. "I was told they were unable to contact Ganguly and then I learnt he had asked not to be considered for the two matches,'' More said.

Five other players selected for Pakistan ? Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Venkatsai Laxman and Wasim Jaffar ? are turning out for their respective state teams in the latest round of Ranji Trophy matches. Other India Team players, including captain Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, were asked to rest by the team management after the busy home schedule.

Ganguly, who was embroiled in a row with coach Greg Chappell on the Zimbabwe tour in September, was sacked as captain in October and dropped from the home onedayers against Sri Lanka and South Africa. The left-hander was brought back for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka before being dumped again for the third Test, a move that created a public outcry across India.



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