Sourav Ganguly opts out of Multan Test

Published: Tuesday, March 30, 2004, 19:55 [IST]
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Multan:The Indian team suffered a huge jolt ahead of the first cricket Test against Pakistan with captain Sourav Ganguly ruling himself out of the match due to a back injury.

"I will not be able to play the first Test. The back is still hurting and (physio Andrew) Leipus is treating me," Ganguly said on Saturday as he watched his teammates practice at the Multan Cricket stadium, the venue of the first of the three-Test series.

The Indian skipper had injured his back while fielding in the fifth and final One-dayer against Pakistan at Lahore on Wednesday. He had stayed back in Lahore after the match to consult a specialist and joined his teammates a day later alongwith Leipus.

A medical scan earlier had revealed no injury to Ganguly's back save some muscular pain.The Indian captain said he was hopeful to be fit before the start of the second Test at Lahore on April 5.

"I will have a few more sessions with Leipus and see how it goes. Hopefully I should be fit for the next Test," Ganguly said.

Yuvraj Singh is likely to be Ganguly's replacement for the first Test with Rahul Dravid leading the team. It will be the second time Dravid will be captaining the side after having stood-in for Ganguly in the Mohali Test against New Zealand last year.

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