Fresh drama in BCCI over Ganguly~~s exclusion

Published: Saturday, November 5, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The omission of Sourav Ganguly from the Indian cricket team has led to a fresh war of words in the BCCI, with former Board President I S Bindra accusing Jagmohan Dalmiya of masterminding the exit of the former captain, a charge strongly denied by the Kolkata strongman.

Dalmiya said the Punjab Cricket Association chief's tirade was aimed at maligning him and disrupting the focus of Ganguly who was trying to make a comeback.

The fresh exchange of charges between the two key figures of the rival factions in the Indian Cricket Board assumes importance in view of BCCI elections, scheduled to be held before November 30 as directed by the Supreme Court.

Although no date has yet been fixed, the latest bout of allegations and counter allegations appear to suggest that there has been no thaw in the relationship between the two factions, fighting to seize control of the cash rich body.

Bindra's attack on Dalmiya came on the very day when Ganguly, leading East Zone, took the field in the Duleep Trophy tie against Zimbabwe's President XI in Mumbai yesterday.

Bindra said he thought it necessary to throw more light on the "sinister campaign" leading to the dethroning of Ganguly after it was suggested to him that the Pawar faction was behind the Bengal cricketer's present predicament.

In a write-up posted on the Punjab Cricket Association's website, Bindra has given his version of the events leading to the ouster of Ganguly."

Ganguly's present predicament and trauma have nothing to do with the equations in the Board. He has unwittingly been dragged into the unsavoury happenings in Kolkata Cricket, That's how my friend (Dalmiya) from Calcutta plays his politics. He is prepared to sacrifice even his near and dear for his political survival," the PCA chief says.

Dalmiya was quick to respond to the charges at a press conference in Kolkata, rebutting Bindra's allegation as an attempt to malign him and timing it so as to disrupt Ganguly's concentration.

"Ganguly is now in CCI (Mumbai) to play and what better way to disrupt his concentration and focus. That's the reason for the postings in the Punjab Cricket Association's website," Dalmiya said.

"It's unfortunate that players and coaches are being dragged into the election campaign ahead of the BCCI elections," Dalmiya said.

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