Ganguly bats for Bengal, keeps mum on fitness

Published: Sunday, November 7, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, recuperating from a groin strain after missing two Test matches against Australia, today turned out for Bengal in a four-day Ranji Trophy match against Karnataka here, but kept mum on issues relating to his fitness.

The left-hander, who batted for about 79 minutes and remained not out at a personal score of 12, looked a bit uncomfortable in the beginning but left the field with signs of confidence.

He, however, refused to talk about his fitness, saying ''whatever I have to say, I will tell after the fourth day''.

Ganguly's inclusion in the Bengal Ranji team came as a surprise development as the team India regular skipper expressed his desire last night to avail himself for the Elite division group league match at the Jadavpur University stadium, Salt Lake.

In a last minute decision, the Bengal selectors omitted Nikhil Haldipur and included Ganguly in the first eleven apparently to give him much needed match practice ahead of India's One-dayer against Pakistan at Eden Gardens on November 13, organised by BCCI as part of its Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Bengal coach Karsan Ghavri termed Ganguly's inclusion as a morale booster for the Bengal players, but echoed the team India skipper on questions about his fitness.

"There are still three days to go. Let us wait and see," Ghavri said when asked how fit Ganguly appeared to be.

Cricket Association of Bengal president Jogmohan Dalmiya, however, said ''he (Ganguly) played because he felt he is fit''.

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