Updated: June 29, 2016 1:33:39 pm
Sourav Ganguly wasn’t present in the selection meeting when Ravi Shastri gave his interview to become India’s head coach. “Ganguly wasn’t there when I was interviewed,” Ravi Shastri told The Indian Express. Ganguly was a key member of the four-man team – Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, and BCCI convenor Sanjay Jagdale were the other members of the BCCI’s high profile committee to pick India’s new coach.
Shastri’s interview was conducted between 5 to 6 pm . Laxman and Jagdale were at the Taj Bengal hotel, Tendulkar joined in from London via Skype, and Shastri was video linked from Bangkok. During that time, Ganguly was away at the office of the cricket association of Bengal (CAB)in Kolkata. He was attending a working committee meeting of CAB. Ganguly came out of that meeting at CAB at about 6.30 pm and he told the waiting media that Kumble, Pravin Amre, and Lalchand Rajput were interviewed in person while Shastri was spoken to on Skype. Despite repeated attempts, Ganguly didn’t respond to calls. Convenor Jagdale too wasn’t available for comment.
Here are the excerpts.
Were you disappointed and hurt when you came to know you didn’t get the coaching job?
I was very disappointed. Disappointment because the hard work entire unit had put in in the last 18 months. To see where they were when the support staff and I took over and to where they reached in 18 months makes me feel proud. They got up, threw punches and ended up where they were. No 1 in Test cricket, No 1 in T20, No 2 in ODI. You can’t ask for more. Even I didn’t’ expect such a transformation in 18 months with this young team. I feel really proud. I was honest, worked hard along with the support staff, and the players were fantastic. You look during those months with the BCCI being hammered in the court and media for various reasons, cricket was the shining light. People really took to watching the way Indian team was playing.
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How did your presentation to the selection panel go?
Meeting was great. Some great questions from VVS, Sachin and Sanjay. I put my way forward for the team. They wanted to know how do I plan to do well in all formats, how we should look at fast bowlers, and things of that sort.
You mention Sachin, Laxman and Sanjay Jagdale. No questions from Ganguly?
Well, actually he wasn’t there.
Did you ask the others in the panel about his absence?
That I can’t ask na. I responded to the questions asked and as I told you there was some good questions from the three, and it was a great meeting.
How do you see Kumble working with this team ? What’s your take on the players?
I think Anil inherited a damn good team, a fantastic team in all formats. And his job would be to take it forward. I am proud of the boys and I would miss their company because I will treasure the joy and enjoyment they gave me in those 18 months. I am always there for them. That’s how I was even in the 23 years of broadcasting career. They know that.
So what now for Shastri? How are you moving on from the disappointment?
I have been in the field for a long enough. That was yesterday. There is bright sunshine in Thailand today. So, get up, hit the beach and just chill.
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