Dalmiya requests Ganguly to lead Bengal Ranji team

October 2nd, 2008 - 12:08 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Oct 1 (IANS) On a day he made it to the Indian squad for the home series opposite Australia, Sourav Ganguly met his estranged mentor Jagmohan Dalmiya Wednesday and heard a request to take over as Bengal captain for the coming season. “Ganguly came to me. I congratulated him. I requested him to play for the state team,” Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Dalmiya told reporters after tête-à-tête with the former Indian captain at the Eden Gardens here.

The occasion marked the first-ever formal meeting between the two after Ganguly targeted Dalmiya loyalists in the run-up to the CAB polls in July and threatened to switch over to another state if they continued to attack his family (Ganguly’s).

Ganguly’s outburst was then seen as his way of extending support publicly to the anti-Dalmiya lobby. Dalmiya, however, returned as CAB chief by convincingly winning the elections.

“I also requested Ganguly to take over as Bengal captain. He is a nice person. I am sure he will listen to me,” Dalmiya said.

Ganguly has not yet confirmed whether he would turn out for Bengal in the upcoming Ranji Trophy.

Dalmiya was strongly criticised by his opponents in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for constantly supporting Ganguly despite the southpaw’s often lean run with the bat, when the seasoned cricket administrator was at the helm of affairs in the board.

Critics said it was Dalmiya’s ploy to appeal to the sentiment of the locals in Bengal and insulate his position at the CAB.

But the relations between the two soured over then Indian coach Greg Chappell’s e-mail to the board that contained damning allegations about Ganguly that got leaked into the media.

Their embittered relation came to the fore when Ganguly sent an e-mail from England ahead of 2006 CAB polls, accusing Dalmiya of harming his career.

Dalmiya emerged victorious in that elections and soon after said: “Sourav is a bachha (child).”

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