Ganguly considers Chappell~~s statement sensitive

Published: Saturday, September 24, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:Cricket skipper Sourav Ganguly, reportedly criticised by coach Greg Chappell as physically and mentally unfit" to lead the team, today said it was a "sensitive" issue and would speak to cricket board if asked.

Ganguly played with a straight bat, albeit with a very serious demeanour, and was even unusually lost for words on a few occasions when he spoke to the horde of media contingent on his arrival here from Zimbabwe along with other players of the squad.

"I don't want to talk about the issue. Yes, I am aware of it (e-mail). I will talk to the BCCI on the issue if they ask me. It's a sensitive issue at the present moment and I don't want say anything to stir it up again," said Ganguly, who returned here early this morning from Zimbabwe after winning the first Test series outside the sub-continent in 19 years.

In the email, Chappell is reported to have said that Ganguly has no physical and mental fitness to continue as captain, was creating differences among team members and hisattitude was not ideal for India to strive for the 2007 World Cup, according to a Kolkata newspaper.

BCCI, which has confirmed receiving an email from Chappell, would discuss it at a meeting of high-powered committee in Mumbai on Monday.

"Chappell's complaint alongwith Ganguly's side of the story would be discussed at a meeting in Mumbai on September 27," BCCI Secretary S K Nair had said in Kolkata.

Ganguly and 13 other players, including vice-captain Rahul Dravid, returned home while the coach and the rest of the support staff -- team physio John Gloster, trainer GregoryKing and biomechaniics expert Ian Frazer -- are scheduled to arrive a couple of days later.

Talking about his performance, Ganguly said, "I played well in the Test series and was happy to get a hundred and happy to win both the matches convincingly. That's whatmatters."

On the positives from the tour, he said everybody played their part well."(Gautam) Gambhir played well, (V V S) Laxman and myself got hundreds, Rahul (Dravid) batted well, Irfan Pathan bowled very well.

"It was good to see Zaheer Khan bowl so well. The spinners did not get much of an opportunity because the seamers did most of the damage," he said.

"Off spinner Harbhajan Singh bowled very well in the second innings of the first Test at Bulawayo when taking four wickets and in his two-wicket haul in the first innings of thefinal Test at Harare. But generally the spinners had little opportunities," he said.

Ganguly also pointed out that Kaif and Yuvraj Singh played their parts well in the one-day series.

Looking forward to the packed international season ahead, the stylish left-hander said the Indian team had to take one series at a time and needed to play good, hard cricket.

"We have to take one series at a time. We need to play good, hard cricket as we will be facing very good teams. We will be playing Sri Lanka at home, then tour Pakistan and play England at home before going to the West Indies. It's going to be tough and we need to get our act together.

"It is important that the team does well regardless of whoever leads the team or coaches it. The team is more important than the individuals", he added.

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