Kapil slams people of Kolkata for protests

Published: Wednesday, November 23, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Bangalore:Cricket legend Kapil Dev has slammed Kolkatans for protests against non-inclusion of Sourav Ganguly in the national squad, asking them to put the country before their State.

The former all-rounder's comments came earlier today, before the national selectors picked Ganguly for the first Test against Sri Lanka next month. The Bengal cricketer, however, has not found a place in the One-day squad.

"Why did you not protest about (Anil) Kumble (who was excluded in the One-day squad) not playing ? Don't you feel bad ?. It's the same thing. The time, Kolkata people feel badabout Anil Kumble, then I will feel bad about him (Ganguly's exclusion).

When they feel bad about (V V S) Laxman, then I will feel about Sourav Ganguly", he said in response to a question at an interaction here.

"Because India comes first, then the State; You cannot think about your State and not think about your country. Country is much more bigger", Kapil said.

Bengal cine stars yesterday joined the chorus of protests in Kolkata over local boy Ganguly being kept out of the national squad, as demonstrators conducted signature campaigns and tore tickets of Friday's India-South Africa One-day match.

Asked if Ganguly's cricketing career is over, Kapil said it all depends on his determination. "If he is determined, I don't think his career is over; but if he thinks that he had enough, then it's over any day".

Ganguly is very stubborn and very confident about himself, Kapil said, adding, he wishes that the Bengal cricketer should bounce back. "I hope he will work harder". A cricketer who has scored 10,000 runs has done a fabulous job for himself and the country, the former Captain opined.

Kapil also had a different view on Ganguly losing captaincy to Dravid.

"Sourav Ganguly got injured a few times. So, sometimes you know you get injured at a wrong time. Other person takes the seat. It happens in politics. It happens in every part oflife. So, when someone is out, he is totally out; does not come back", the former all-rounder added.

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