Ganguly~~s resignation to solve imbroglio: Dungarpur

Published: Monday, September 26, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:A day before the Review Committee meeting of the Cricket Board here, former BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur asked for captain Sourav Ganguly's head to help solve the raging controversy engulfing the game in the country.

Slamming both Ganguly and former board Chief Jagmohan Dalmiya, who is a member of the Review Committee, Dungarpur said as such the only way out is for Ganguly to "put in his papers" and allow coach Greg Chappell to continue his task of taking Indian cricket forward.

"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", Dungarpur told a press conference here today.

Dungarpur also accused Dalmiya for being directly or indirectly responsible for the leak to the media of the confidential e-mail of Chappell from Zimbabwe, in which he had levelled serious charges against Ganguly.

"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 (board's joint secretary) Gautam Dasgupta who would not have done anything without the former's knowledge", the former national selection committee chairman said.

"Board president Ranbir Singh 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", queried Dungarpur.

Dungarpur, who has managed four Indian teams in the past, also said he was "numbed to learn that Dalmiya is behind the leaking of the confidential e-mail essentially sent to the Board president" by Chappell.

Dungarpur also said that as per his knowledge, 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, Sourav Ganguly", he said adding that it was also done to give credit for that to Dalmiya.

Explaining why Dalmiya cannot even afford to mildly admonish Ganguly, he said that any such action on the former's part would not go well in Kolkata where he lives.

"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," charged Dungarpur.

"Ganguly knows he has the license to kill as long as Dalmiya is there," he said.

Dungarpur also said that towards the latter part of his tenure as the Indian coach New Zealander John Wright was at his wits' end on how to tackle Dalmiya and Ganguly who would listen to what he wanted for long before doing what they liked.

"John (Wright) told me before leaving that he cannot function at all when these two were running Indian cricket (as board's influential member and captain respectively). I know what he had to endure in the interest of Indian cricket, even abuses from the captain and his cronies," Dungarpur said.

The former Board president also described the current controversy engulfing Indian cricket to be more serious than the episode of Lala Amarnath having been sent back from England by the team manager in 1936 "for indiscipline".

Slamming both off spinner Harbhajan Singh and the team manager to Zimbabwe, Amitabh Chaudhary, for supporting Ganguly, Dungarpur said it was surprising to see the latter giving a certificate of fitness to the Indian captain.

"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 physique," he remarked.

Dungarpur said he had 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 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," he said.

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