The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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P-list Sourav down, with fever
- Ex-captain silent on selection among 30 probables

Calcutta, Aug.10: Back in the reckoning after six months, potentially a career-ending break for somebody in his 35th year, one expected Sourav Ganguly to be buoyant.

Yet, the morning after, the former Team India captain’s tone was anything but upbeat.

“I’ve been having fever from yesterday,” Sourav explained, when The Telegraph got through to one of his cellphones around lunch.

He didn’t take calls last evening and both phones had been off throughout this morning.

Surely, though, having made the Champions Trophy probables’ list must be making him feel better'

“I don’t have a comment,” was Sourav’s response. He quickly (and somewhat more firmly) added: “In fact, I don’t wish to say anything on featuring in the 30…”

(Predictably, captain Rahul Dravid and coach Greg Chappell also declined to comment in Bangalore, before departing for the August 14-29 tri-series in Sri Lanka.)

Any particular reason why'

“No, I just don’t want to react,” Sourav said, indicating he would prefer to speak about other things.

He did, briefly.

Had circumstances been different, Sourav would probably have talked at some length about the latest Himesh Reshammiya chartbuster or Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna promising to be the century’s biggest grosser.

Cricket apart, Hindi films and songs are a passion with Sourav. But, then, he wasn’t well today.

According to somebody close to the 10,000-plus ODI runs’ club member, being a probable “cannot” be reason enough to rejoice.

More important is what lies ahead.

Apparently, Sourav doesn’t see the day-old developments as actually giving him a “toe-hold” on the Team India bus.

Moreover, he has been bracketed with rookies Tejinder Pal Singh, Rohit Sharma and Subramaniam Badrinath.

Then, if the confidant hasn’t got it mixed up, Sourav is “very bitter” that he got pilloried for an email which tore into Jagmohan Dalmiya a fortnight ago, but “nobody” showed the same zeal in probing how Chappell’s email (which painted him in awful colours) was leaked 11 months ago.

That communication had been sent to the Board of Control for Cricket in India brass.

Another reason for Sourav not being buoyant could be the realisation that his image has taken a beating after getting involved in the highly politicised Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) elections.

For somebody used to God-like treatment, it may take some time to adjust to the (for now, at least) changed ground realities.

Footnote: Sourav hasn’t spoken about the CAB since returning from Northampton almost a week ago. He has reasons, but a one-on-one with Dalmiya can’t be ruled out in the near future. The invitation, however, will have to come from the one-time mentor.

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