Current Board of Control for Cricket in India chief Sourav Ganguly opened up on his controversial axing from the Indian team in 2005, and suspects that other members of the team setup might have been involved, Bengali daily Sangbad Pratidin reported.
Ganguly’s fallout with then coach Greg Chappell was seen as the reason behind the move, which created a lot of uproar at the time. The Australian’s effigies were burnt and he was largely criticised for creating instability in the team. Ganguly called the episode his “biggest setback”.
“That was the biggest setback of my career,” Ganguly said. “It was absolute injustice. I know you can’t get justice all the time but even then that treatment could have been avoided. I was the captain of the team which had just won in Zimbabwe and I get sacked after returning home?”
He added: “I dreamt of winning the 2007 World Cup for India. We had lost in the final the previous time. I had reasons to dream too. The team had played so well under me for the last five years whether it was home or away. Then you suddenly drop me? First, you say I’m not in the ODI side, then you drop me from the Test team too.”
It was Rahul Dravid who led India in the 2007 with the team crashing out as early as the group stages. The tournament also brought an end to Chappell’s tenure. Ganguly thinks other members, the team and board, could have been involved in his ouster as skipper.
“I don’t want to blame Greg Chappell alone. There is no doubt about the fact that he was the one who started it. He suddenly sends an email against me to the board which gets leaked too. Does something like this happen? A cricket team is like a family,” Ganguly said.
“There can be differences of opinion, misunderstandings in the family but that should be sorted out with dialogue. You are the coach, if you believed that I should play in a certain manner then come and tell me. When I returned as a player he had specified the same things then why not earlier?”
Ganguly was later praised for his fortitude after making a return to the Indian team a year after being dropped, most notably, playing well under tough conditions in South Africa.
He added: “The others are not innocent either. A foreign coach who doesn’t have any say in the selection cannot drop an Indian captain. I had understood that this is not possible without the support of the entire system. Everyone was involved in the scheme to drop me. But I didn’t crumble under pressure. I didn’t lose confidence in me.”