October 24, 2020
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'License To Kill'

'It's Ganguly who should quit. But I know this is not going to happen as he's been protected right through his tenure by another person from Kolkata, Dalmiya,' charges the former BCCI chief and national selection committee chairman, holding Dalmiya r

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'License To Kill'
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On who leaked Chappell's e-mail: The leak was to a Bengali paper and only two men [to whom the mail was sent] knew the lingua franca. One was Dalmiya and the other was [the board's joint secretary] Gautam Dasgupta who would not have done anything without the former's knowledge. Board president Ranbir Singh Mahendra has to come clean on what is turning out to he a cheap soap opera. He has to answer as to how a copy of such a sensitive e-mail was sent to Mr Dalmiya

I was numbed to learn that Dalmiya is behind the leaking of the confidential e-mail essentially sent to the Board president by Chappell. As far as I know, Chappell had been asked to send a report via e-mail not only to the Board president Mahendra and secretary but also to the selection committee chairman Kiran More and Dalmiya, among others. I shudder to imagine how such a sensitive report was marked to all and sundry. The entire exercise is nothing but to save one man, Saurav Ganguly

On what would happen on Tuesday: It is Indian cricket's date with destiny. The BCCI would probably look for a compromise wher Ganguly will win and Chappell will lose.

On Indian coaches: I rate Chappell, as one of the best batsmen ever. He has done nothing wrong. Chappell came here with a mission. His mission is the 2007 World Cup and he is trying to do his best. He comes from a sports nation and is using his expertise here. Unfortunately, we are not making the most out of it. God forbid, if Chappell puts in his papers then no respectable man will take the job for a while.

John (Wright) told me before leaving that he cannot function at all when these two [ Ganguly and Dalmiya] were running Indian cricket (as the board's influential member and captain respectively). The coach and captain would sit for an hour and put down a strategy but the captain did not follow it on the field. And John told me it happened a lot of times. I know what he had to endure in the interest of Indian cricket, even abuses from the captain and his cronies

On Ganguly: He was a far better captain before, but, going by his mental condition, right now it would be for the better of Indian cricket that he steps down. It's painful for me to criticise an Indian captain, but I feel in this situation it's Ganguly who should quit. But I know this is not going to happen as he's been protected right through his tenure by another person from Kolkata, Dalmiya. 

The dressing room is the preserve of the team. What happens there should remain private. Sourav had asked Chappell for his views on where he stood as a player and Chappell gave his opinion. If Ganguly wanted to tell it out, why didn't he do so before the match? He waited till he got some runs under the belt and then let it out. I can assure you that he would not go to the media about it if he hadn't scored a hundred.

Dalmiya masterminds everything here. It is because of his over protectiveness that Ganguly is taking things for granted. He is the reason why Ganguly has turned into a disastrous young man. No wonder, Ganguly is so emboldened by this spineless former chief of the International Cricket Council that he has now no qualms in undermining coach Greg Chappell and openly challenging him. Ganguly knows he has the license to kill as long as Dalmiya is there. 

On Rahul Dravid: I don't remember when he has got bowled so regularly. It just shows he is low at the moment, and the reason is that he was zipped out as a captain once Ganguly had served that ban and came back into the side.

On Harbhajan Singh's comments: He should be concentrating on his arm right now and not on supporting his captain. A good captain does not need a show of public support.

On the team manager Amitabh Chaudhary: For good measure, Mr Dalmiya has also got the administrative manager of the team on the tour to back Ganguly to the hilt and rubbish Chappell's remark about the captain's fitness regimen. We don't need Mr Amitabh Chaudhary to give a fitness certificate to Ganguly. One look at him on the field will reveal everything about his fragile ph ysique. 

I have seen first hand on how Ganguly used to shirk away from facing bowlers on helpful pitches in the past and also of having seen him fielding at deep square leg in one Test match in Galle during India's trip to Sri Lanka in the past when he was captain.
It was in 1999 at Old Trafford when I (as the then BCCI chief) noticed Ganguly's reluctance to play after having one look at the greenish-looking pitch. He suddenly developed a leg problem and dropped out of the team.


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