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Since 1st March, 1999
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Sourav is history for More, board not sure

Calcutta, March 5: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) hasn’t decided on a policy whereby the selectors are only going to pick teams with an eye to the future.

“We won’t interfere with the selection process, but the chairman (Kiran More) can’t decide on policy'. It’s for the president (Sharad Pawar) or the working committee to lay down what needs to be done'.

“At no time have we suggested current form and performance won’t be taken into account,” a very influential member of the present dispensation told The Telegraph late this evening.

A few hours earlier, More had emphasised (in Nagpur) that the committee headed by him wouldn’t go back in time and bring back Sourav Ganguly.

It’s no secret that More and coach Greg Chappell have ensured that the former captain’s India appearances have been limited to just four Tests after the August-September tour of Zimbabwe.

“I’ve already said it in Vadodara (after the Nagpur Test squad was picked) and I’m saying it again that this selection committee has taken a decision that we’re looking ahead and we will not look back'. That’s it'” More declared.

His comments came less than 18 hours after Pawar categorically stated “nobody can stop Sourav from returning to the team” and that “he must concentrate on performing.”

Either More, an office-bearer of the pro-Pawar Baroda Cricket Association, doesn’t keep himself abreast of developments or, simply, isn’t bothered.

At best, More has only expressed the majority opinion within the committee as East’s Ranjib Biswal and North’s Bhupinder Singh (Sr) fought for Sourav in Vadodara.

It won’t surprise if they seek a clarification when the committee next meets, after the second Test (in Mohali, from Thursday), to pick the squad for the third and final one.

The BCCI secretary, Niranjan Shah, played it safe when his reaction was sought.

“It’s difficult to say anything'. The president has his views and the selection committee chairman has his thoughts'” is all that he said, boarding a Nagpur-Mumbai flight.

Shah convenes the selection committee meetings.

Meanwhile, the Big Four consulted by Pawar late last night ' captain Rahul Dravid, vice-captain Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble ' are understood to have endorsed the BCCI’s stand on Chappell’s controversial interview.

“They felt he shouldn’t have talked about Sourav and the monetary factor'. At the same time, they wanted the BCCI to quickly close the issue,” a well-placed source said.

Chappell, who was called separately, accepted his “mistake”.

However, he hasn’t conveyed his regrets to Sourav. Not that the damage can be undone.

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