Former India captain Sourav Ganguly recalled being dropped from the Indian team in 2005 as ‘absolute injustice’, saying his dream of leading India to winning the 2007 World Cup was snatched away.
Controversy erupted when Ganguly was dropped, first from ODIs and then Tests, in late 2005 and early 2006.
“That was the biggest setback of my career. It was an 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?,” Ganguly told Bengali newspaper Sangbad Pratidin.
“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,” Ganguly said.
Ganguly’s supporters pointed fingers at then coach Greg Chappell, but the former left-handed batsman said the Australian alone wasn’t responsible.
“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 said. “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. There can 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?”
The current BCCI president said ‘others were not innocent’, explaining that an Indian captain cannot removed just by the coach.
“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,” he said.
True to his words, Ganguly worked hard in domestic cricket and made a stellar return to the Indian team in 2006 with a tour of South Africa.
He ended with 11363 runs in 311 ODIs and 7212 runs in 113 Tests.