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India in England 2021: BCCI President Sourav Ganguly Responds to Shubman Gill Replacement Controversy

Sourav Ganguly is maintaining a distance from the issue (AFP Photo)

Sourav Ganguly is maintaining a distance from the issue (AFP Photo)

The Indian team management on June 28, through administrative manager Girish Dongre, had requested for two openers as replacement, preferably Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Thursday tried to steer clear of the controversy surrounding the national selectors’ decision to not send a replacement for injured opener Shubman Gill in England, saying it was a matter for the selection committee to consider.

The Indian team management on June 28, through administrative manager Girish Dongre, had requested for two openers as replacement, preferably Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal.

But chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma, till a couple of days back, hadn’t sent any formal reply to that mail as four openers are already in the UK.

When asked about the contentious issue, Ganguly, while addressing reporters on his 49th birthday on Thursday, said: “That’s selectors’ call."

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Both Shaw and Padikkal are currently in Sri Lanka with India’s white-ball squad under Shikhar Dahwan for a six-match series.

Under regular skipper Virat Kohli, India is set to play a five-match Test series against England, starting August 4. The red-ball battle is also the first series of the second cycle of World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23.

Ganguly expressed optimism about hosting the suspended leg of this year’s IPL in the UAE in September.

“Nothing will happen we will manage. It will start in September, we will chalk out the nitty-gritties," he told reporters.

Ganguly reiterated the BCCI was forced to shift this year’s ICC World T20 to the UAE keeping in mind the safety and security of all stakeholders.

The T20 World Cup was scheduled to be held in India in October-November this year.

“There will be regret but no one has witnessed such a situation in their entire lifetime. These are exceptional circumstances," he said.

“Last year the World Cup got cancelled and this year if again the World Cup gets cancelled because of COVID, then it’s a massive loss for the game. That’s why we have taken it into a safer place," he added.

Ganguly, who had suffered a mild heart attack and undergone a quick primary angioplasty in January this year, said he is completely fine now.

“I’m fully fit. It’s another year gone, that’s the way it is. In these COVID time, you just try and stay as quiet as possible. It’s for the people around you rather than you.

“People at home have made their preparations to celebrate. It’s a closed door celebrations," he said.

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first published:July 09, 2021, 09:01 IST