'Hurt and extremely saddenned' by Ravi Shastri's comments: Sourav Ganguly

Kolkata, June 29: Former captain Sourav Ganguly today (June 29) said he was "hurt" and "extremely saddenned" by Ravi Shastri's comments on him after the selection of the head coach of Team India.

Shastri lashes out at Ganguly

Last week, the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) comprising of Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman along with others in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) picked Anil Kumble as the head coach.

Shastri (left) and Ganguly

Shastri, former Team India Director, lost out narrowly to Kumble. However, Shastri was upset with Ganguly as the left-hander was not present during his presentation for the coach's interview.

In the last few days, Shastri has openly criticised Ganguly for "disrespecting" him during the interview process.

On Wednesday, Ganguly spoke to TV channels make it clear that he had prior commitments with the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and hence he could not be there when Shastri made his presentation from Bangkok. ('Jumbo' journey begins in Bengaluru)

"I am extremely saddened to hear that from Ravi (Shastri) yesterday. I was reading it in a couple of newspapers for past 3-4 days and I chose to ignore it. But I am extremely saddened when he went on air expressing his views especially from someone who has been in every BCCI committee for the last 20 years. He has been in my position. He was, probably in my position, 10 years, to select the coach," Ganguly said.

(Ganguly-Shastri feud: This is what former cricketers had to say)

He continued, "I don't think he is aware of everything. I had informed the BCCI on the 19th (June). I have official mails and I will circulate to all of you once I get official clearance from the Board.

"I had told the BCCI that I have to leave at 5 o'clock because CAB working committee meeting was suppose to happen. As the president I am suppose to chair the meeting. The working committee meetings get decided 14 days ago. To cancel, it is impossible. But this meeting (coach selection) was decided in 2 days."

"Ravi's meeting was at 4.15 PM in the afternoon (on June 21). I hope Ravi has got that on record as well because BCCI had sent him the time. Doing interviews with everyone it went past and we reached 5 o'clock.

"So I requested the committee whether I could come back at 6 PM and do it, for which they agreed. Once I came here, I got a message from Ajay (Shirke) (BCCI secretary) whether the other 2 members could continue with Ravi for which I was fine with. I said 'I have been stuck with this. Please go ahead and do it'. That happens everywhere in the world. That is the exact story."

Ganguly said Shastri's comments were "personal" and added he was not responsible for him losing out to Kumble.

"I just feel that the comments are very personal. If Ravi Shastri feels that I am responsible for him not being the coach of India, he is living in a fool's world (paradise). It is a committee and there are people in the committee who are more reputed than I am. And there are other people involved also. (They were) consulted and spoken (to). So that is disappointing (from Ravi). Being in such committees for 10 years he should be aware how such committees operate," Ganguly explained.

He further added, "I am personally hurt because of what he said disrespecting (by me). Which was not the case. If that was the case then Ravi's interview would not have been slotted at 4.15 PM. And I have got the mails. Since he spoke about disrespect, I say this with anger, that he gave me a suggestion that in future I should be available for such meetings. I have been part of BCCI for a while now, I will make sure that I will be available (in future)."

The CAB president had an advice for Shastri saying the former cricketer should have been giving his presentation personally in India rather than holidaying in Bangkok.

"I have an advice for him (Shastri). When the coach of India is selected, it is one of the most important jobs in cricket. He should be in front of the committee giving his presentation. It is a high-profile job and not sit in Bangkok on a holiday and make a presentation on camera especially when one of the greatest cricketers of India all-time, Anil Kumble, spoke for nearly 2 hours. That is my advice to him. I am hurt because of his personal attack which was not required.

Kumble was appointed India's head coach

"When you have a three-member committee and important people other than the committee involved in decision-making it is not only about Sourav Ganguly. These personal remarks are very saddenning.

"He should have shown a bit more maturity. He has been in such committees for 10 years, probably more than 10 years."

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