Ganguly extends olive branch to guru Greg

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Harbouring a never-say-die hope of clawing his way back to the Team India huddle, former captain Sourav Ganguly today sought to put the lid on his feud with coach Greg Chappell and said he was ready to leave behind the chapter that marked his ouster from the team.

Here to attend the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit today, the Kolkata southpaw, perhaps the most controversial figure in contemporary cricket, spoke his heart out on a plethora of issues, including the spat with Chappell.

Admitting he was angry to read about Chappell's leaked e-mail in which the Aussie had described Ganguly as a disruptive influence on the team, the former captain said, ''Of course I was angry, especially after it came from someone whom you knew for quite some time. After all, I had known him for the last three-four years.''

Dropping clear indications that he was ready to bury the hatchet, Ganguly sought to play down the issue and said, ''Anyway, you say lot of things out of anger, which may not be right from the heart. I know him for a long time and when I was the captain my opinion was sought while picking the new coach (after John Wright) and I've supported him.

''Some times friends do fight among themselves but then they sit back and feel they should not have done that,'' he explained.

Asked if he was ready for a forgive-and-forget act, Ganguly nodded in the affirmative and refused to call it a complete end to his relationship with Chappell.

''Well, there can't be complete end to anything and I believe everything is possible,'' he said, hinting he was ready for a rapprochement.

Also reminded about Chappell's jibe that he wanted to cling on to captaincy because of endorsements, Ganguly said, ''Fortunately, I come off a family where it would not have mattered even if I never played cricket. This was another statement from him out of anger and so I didn't pay much attention.

''See, the endorsement deals I have don't include any captaincy clause and I could continue them as a mere player,'' Ganguly elaborated.

Asked about his prospect of a comeback, Ganguly said, ''I think I stand a good chance as long as I perform well in domestic cricket, which I have been doing. Lot would depend on the outlook of the selectors, coach and the captain, besides the team's performance. But provided I fit into their combination, I'll be back in the side,'' he said.

''I have been just one series under Chappell and can't give much insight. But it seems both he and Rahul are doing quite well and though results may not be right now in front of us but it would definitely come at some stage,'' Ganguly added.

He also refused to buy the theory that Chappell was calling the shots in Team India with Dravid being reduced to a puppet.

''I'm too far away to give an insight but I think it's not true.

Media sometimes report these things but they are not privy to the dressing room discussion and I guess the reports are not true,'' he felt.

''If you ask me, I think the coach should call the shots off the field and the captain out there in the middle. In the end, I think captain takes most of the decision for 60 per cent things go different than what you had planned in the team meeting.

''When teams lose, you get to hear these kind of things from the media and I think this is no different,'' Ganguly explained.


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