| Ganguly: Sweet support
London, Sept. 30: A nice box of Puja sandesh or better still an autographed photograph ought to be winging its way from Sourav Ganguly to Angus Fraser, the former England fast bowler-turned-cricket writer, who has written a surprisingly supportive article today about the embattled Indian captain.
Equally deserving of the box of sandesh ' and an autographed photograph ' is the chairman of Glamorgan County Cricket Club, where Sourav played this summer.
Paul Russell dismissed criticism by England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff in his autobiography, Being Freddie, that the Indian captain was not a team player.
In fact, he told The Telegraph that the possibility of Sourav returning next year “has not been excluded”.
As for Fraser, some of the sentences he crafted might make “India’s most successful captain” blush like a new bridegroom.
For “Gus”, as Fraser is affectionately known, says Sourav can be “charming, humble and gracious” and that “away from the cameras, the microphones and the responsibility of captaining the most cricket-mad country on the planet, he is delightful company”.
Fraser, who has never toured India during the period (1989-1998) he played for England (177 Test wickets at an average of 27.32), is expecting to be in India next spring to cover the England tour on behalf of The Independent for whom he is now a cricket correspondent.
“It is hard to believe Ganguly is not preparing something special for England’s tour to India in March next year,” predicts Fraser. “Whether Chappell is still the India coach is, however, questionable.”
“He (Sourav) is an easy target,” Fraser said today.
He had met Sourav on four or five occasions and chatted to him for 20-30 minutes. “He’s always been very nice to me.”
Russell would vouch for that. “He’s an all round good guy,” the Glamorgan chairman said.
Russell debunked the stereotype painted of Sourav by some of his critics that he was aloof, did not mix with lesser players, expected others to carry his kit or that he was past his best.
“He mixed with the team and was especially helpful to the captain, Robert Croft, in giving tips to the younger players. As for expecting others to carry his coffin (cricket kit bag), I saw him drag his into the dressing room because I was right behind him.
“He is one of the successful captains, along with Steve Waugh, Clive Lloyd and Peter May. His form was not a question with us.”
A more familiar anti-Sourav line was taken by former England player Mike Selvey. “Ganguly has had his day, a modest player in a team crowded with batting talent of the highest calibre.”