Sourav Ganguly hits back at Ravi Shastri

Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) President and former India captain, Sourav Ganguly, has come out strongly against Ravi Shastri, stating that the former team director "is living in a fool's paradise".

Sourav Ganguly said that Ravi Shastri should have shown a bit more maturity.   -  PTI

Sourav Ganguly came out strong at Ravi Shastri, saying the former India Team Director was “living in a fool’s world” if he felt that only one person (Ganguly) was responsible for him not being selected the head coach.

Shastri reportedly blamed Ganguly, a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee that picked the head coach, for walking out during his interview via video-conferencing.

Not one to pull back punches, a furious Ganguly on Wednesday gave it back to Shastri questioning the former India all-rounder's "seriousness" while giving an interview while "holidaying in Bangkok".

"I just feel his (Shastri) comments are very personal. If Ravi Shastri feels that Sourav Ganguly was responsible for him not being the India coach, he is living in a fool's world," an angry Ganguly told TV channels, here on Wednesday.

Ganguly, one of India's most celebrated captains, was even more terse while rebutting Shastri's suggestion that next time he should be "present" when an interview is being conducted.

"It angers me that he gave a suggestion that I should be available for such meetings. I have been a part of BCCI meetings for some time and I have always been available. My advice to Ravi is that when the coach of India is selected and one of the most important jobs, he should be in front of the committee and not sit in Bangkok and give a presentation while being on a holiday," Ganguly said.

Taking a a dig at Shastri's casual approach, Ganguly said that the former Team Director could have been present in person "especially when one of India's greatest cricketers of all time spoke for two hours. I am hurt because of personal attacks.

"I read in a couple of newspapers and chose to ignore it. I am extremely saddened that he went on air to express his view. Specially someone who has been in every BCCI committee for the last 20 years. He has been in my position for selecting the coach 10 years back. He is aware of everything.

"I informed BCCI on June 19th and I have got official mails. I will circulate those mails once I get a clearance from the BCCI," Ganguly said.

Ganguly then went on to add: "I don't know whether he is serious or not serious but I hope he was if he wanted one of the most important jobs in the game. But if he is talking about respect then he should have been here as well."

"When you have a three-member committee and important people are involved in the decision making then it is not just about Sourav Ganguly, so these personal remarks have been very saddening."

On Shastri making comments in public domain against him, Ganguly said: "He should have shown a bit more maturity, especially for someone who has been in such committees for more than 10 years.

On Anil Kumble starting his stint as Indian coach, Ganguly said: "I wish him all the luck. As I said he is the best in the world. He is one of the champions of Indian cricket and he will take this team forward."

Ganguly did not give a direct answer to the queries about his animosity with Shastri being an open secret in Indian cricket.

"From my side, I have never gone on to make any comments to the media."

Ganguly then also gave his account of the itinerary of that day.

"I had informed BCCI that there was a CAB Working Committee meeting that day. Being the president of CAB, I had to chair the meeting. Also the notification for a Working Committee is always given 14 days in advance whereas this meeting was fixed two days in advance. Ravi's meeting was scheduled at 4:15 p.m. and I guess Ravi has received as well. BCCI had sent him the time.

"Now, while interviewing other candidates, it went past 5 p.m. and I came out of the meeting. Then Mr (Ajay) Shirke (BCCI secretary) called me and said that others (Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and co-ordinator Sanjay Jagdale) are requesting if they can continue (with the interviews). I said "fine, let's do that as it happens everywhere in the world. That's exactly what happened and I feel comments are very personal in nature."

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