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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Sourav Ganguly Q&A
It has been a turbulent year for former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly.

Ganguly bowling in the nets
Losing the captaincy did not hurt me much

He lost the captaincy last October after a public row with coach Greg Chappell and was then dropped from the Test side during the tour to Pakistan earlier this year.

But his desire to play for India is undiminished and hopes a short spell with English county side Northants will help him regain his place, as he told BBC World Service Sport in an exclusive interview.


Q. Do you think selectors will be taking notice of your performances over the next five weeks?

A. I hope so. Because it's good quality cricket.

Q. Do you think you've got some international cricket left in you?

A. Yes, of course. I'm just 33 and (in) the last Test series I played, I did very well, so I am definitely sure there is a lot of cricket left in me.

Q. Is it just about runs, the reason you're not in the India side at the moment, because we hear a lot about differences of opinion with the selectors and with the coach Greg Chappell?

A. Well I don't know about that. I don't want to comment on that. I don't want to make an issue about that. All I can say is what is in my hands is to score runs and take wickets and I'd better concentrate on that.

Q. Have you been following the series that's going on at the moment in the West Indies?

A. It does go a bit late in India. By the time it finishes, in India it's three in the morning. They were pretty unlucky in the last Test match with the rain. They played good cricket in the first two Tests and I'm sure the two more Tests will be very hard fought.

Q. Is playing in the World Cup in 2007 very much in your plans?

A. Yes. I've been one of the best performers in the last two World Cups for India, very close to 1,000 World Cup runs, so I'm looking forward to it and if I get an opportunity it will be good.

Ganguly and daughter Sana
Being dropped by India has given him more time with his family
Q. You played against Sri Lanka at the end of last year and against Pakistan when you weren't captain, how different a feeling was that?

A. I enjoyed it because I captained India for six years, which I think is a pretty long time. I don't think many captains have captained India for six years in a row. It's hard work.

I played one Test against Sri Lanka in Delhi and one against Pakistan in Karachi and I enjoyed it because you just think about your own cricket. Of course you think about the team, but not in the same manner as you do if you are captain.

Q. Did Rahul Dravid ask for your advice?

A. Yes he did at times, but I think he did a good job on his own. I always believe he should be allowed to do it the way he thinks. Too much interference doesn't help, so I took a back seat.

He should make the decisions which he thinks are good for the team. Some may be right, some may be wrong - it's the same for all captains. But as a past captain it was my job to sit back and concentrate on my cricket and whenever asked for advice, I'd do it.

Q. Would you say your style of captaincy differed to his?

A. Everybody's different. You cannot compare somebody's style with another. It's the results which matter.

Q. Have you achieved all you want in cricket?

I have achieved quite a bit. By God's grace, I've been lucky. But I've got some more aspirations that I hope come true.

Q. Winning a World Cup?

That would be great because I've been part of two World Cup and three Champions Trophies....unfortunately (we) couldn't win it.

That's a huge ambition not just for me and the team members but for the entire country and if I can be a part of it, that would be fantastic.

Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly
Ganguly tosses up at the start of the 2003 World Cup final
Q. What do you want the legacy of your time as captain to be?

A. The important thing is to keep on improving, to keep on getting better as a team, and I hope it happens under Rahul.

Q. We say the job of England football manager is one of the biggest jobs in sport, but the Indian cricket captain, can you give us an insight into the pressures that job puts on your shoulders?

A. It's a big job. It's as big a job as Mr Eriksson's - I would say probably bigger because you have more people following. Everybody has an opinion. There are lots of media, about 50 television channels and all of them thrive on this sport, that's what makes the channels run.

Everybody gives an opinion how the team can play better. When you play well, they love you to bits, when you don't, they criticise you to bits.

That's the way it is but I think after a time you just get used to it, you just put it aside and move on. At the end of the day, as long as you know you are giving your best, that's all that matters.

Q. How much did losing the captaincy and your place in the side hurt you personally?

A. Losing the captaincy did not hurt me much because I don't think I would have achieved any more as a captain.

I captained 50 Test matches for India and nearly 160 one-day games, I think that's quite a bit, but I still feel I can be a part of this team and contribute successfully. Obviously not getting a place as a player was difficult.

Q. Can you understand the logic of the argument that said maybe if you stepped down from the captaincy, you could concentrate on your batting and maybe extend your career?

A. That's past. Everybody has his opinion and everybody has the right to give his opinion.

Q. India have a hectic schedule, do you miss being part of all that?

A. Of course. I'd never missed a series in the last 11 years, the first series I missed was when England toured India. It is difficult when you have played non-stop for 11 years but that's the way it is.

Q. On the positive side, you're having a little bit of a break from international cricket, do you think you could come back to the side if you were selected again fresher, more invigorated, maybe with a new perspective?

A. I hope so, but I would still have loved to be part of the team. The boys have played a lot of cricket. They finished in Pakistan and straight away England was there for three Tests and seven one-day internationals. They finished that and in about another three weeks they were in the West Indies.

Q. So your message for people in India would be, Sourav Ganguly might be out of the side at the moment but I'm aiming to get back?

Yes, exactly. I'm trying my best to get back into the team, helping support the team and wish them all the best.



SEE ALSO
Ganguly targets return for India
19 Jun 06 |  Northants


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