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Glamorgan chief backs Ganguly, rules out Flintoff

Published: Friday, September 30, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London:Chairman of the English county team Glamorgan today defended Sourav Ganguly against star England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's comments that he was lazy, saying the Indian captain worked hard on and off the field.

Paul Russel, Chief of Glamorgan team for which Ganguly played this season, said "Ganguly is an outstanding professional who settled into the team and worked hard on and off the field."

"He always came to team practice in time and did whatever he was told to do so. He was very regular for training. I personally drove him to the gym when he had joined us."

Expressing surprise about Flintoff's critical remarks in his autobiography 'Being Freddie, my story so far', Russel said "There was never any attitude problem and he was very positive. We still discuss about him. I am surprised at the comments made by Flintoff. In fact, we have the opposite image of Ganguly of what Flintoff has written.

"There was no hint of anything of what Flintoff has said. He was very friendly with the other team members and used to often go out with them for dinner."

In his book, Flintoff had portrayed Ganguly as lazy and selfish and behaved like royalty. "It was like having Prince Charles on your side".

In his book, which hit the stands yesterday, Flintoff not only found fault with Ganguly's attitude on the field but his refusal to adhere to dress code during his stint with English county Lancashire.

The England all-rounder, who shared the Lancashire dressing room, noted that Ganguly ignored simple things about life there. "On the first day of every championship you turn up in your blazer and tie and after that we are expected to dress smart-casual.

"He wore his tracksuit on the first day and sometimes he would turn up in his whites and go home in them, just to get out of the place as quickly as possible. Even when we did try and make him feel at home by going out for dinner he left early," Flintoff says in his book.

Flintoff wrote that Ganguly's "first game was at Kent and he got out first ball lbw to Mark Ealham. He came in not looking that bothered and we heard that Paul Nixon, the Kent wicket-keeper, had said something to him along the lines of 'hard luck, first ball and all that'.

Ganguly turned around and told him, 'I'm not going to waste my runs on these games. I'll save them for when it matters.'

"That's fine if he wants to be like that, but then why bother coming to Lancashire, he doesn't need the money."

While the England all-rounder was all praise for players like Pakistan's Wasim Akram, South African bowler Steve Elworthy and Sri Lanka's spinner Muthaiah Muralithran, he literally scoffed at Ganguly.

"I suppose we have been a bit spoilt with our overseas players because in my time there we have had Wasim Akram, who was a terrific player and a great bloke."

"We had a South African bowler called Steve Elworthy who was an all-out trier and we've also had Muralitharan who has been fantastic for us. Ganguly just didn't work out at all."

"You can accept a player not playing well, because we all have our ups and downs in our career, but he just didn't want to get involved. He wasn't interested in the other players and it became a situation where it was ten players and Ganguly in the team."

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