Sourav threatens to quit Bengal, if attacks on family don’t stop (Lead)

July 10th, 2008 - 9:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 10 (IANS) In an apparent attack on the Jagmohan Dalmiya camp ahead of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) elections slated for July 29, former captain Sourav Ganguly Thursday threatened to quit playing for the state if ‘certain people’ did not stop targeting his family, particularly his brother Snehasish. “Certain people, I have heard are saying a lot of things about my family, particularly my brother. If things do not change then I will consider whether I should play at all for Bengal. Definitely, leaving will be an option,” Ganguly told reporters at his residence here.

Ganguly, however, said he had nothing personal against Dalmiya, who has announced his decision to contest for the post of CAB president.

“I am a cricketer and I have nothing to do with elections. I don’t want to be part of politics. I don’t want to be dragged into it. Whether Mr. Dalmiya wins the elections, or someone else, does not matter to me. But what matters to me is what is being said about my family by some CAB members,” Ganguly said.

He, however, refused to name the CAB members who he had in mind. Ganguly also made it clear that he was now available for the Bengal team.

Snehasish, a CAB assistant secretary, is a close lieutenant of Dalmiya’s opponent and incumbent president Prasun Mukherjee, who is seeking re-election.

The Dalmiya camp had often trained its guns on Snehasish, who played a major role in deciding the cricketing affairs of the CAB.

Snehasish had drawn flak from Dalmiya loyalists for Bengal’s relegation to the plate division of the Ranji Trophy as also for then coach Paras Mhambrey’s decision to migrate to Vadodara.

But more than the defence of his brother, Ganguly’s strong-worded statement is being construed as his support for the Mukherjee camp in the election.

A Bengali morninger Aajkaal Thursday carried a sensational front page interview of Ganguly, which quoted him as saying that he would switch over to another state if Dalmiya or his group returned to power in Bengal.

Ganguly’s statement Thursday afternoon seemed a much toned down version of what he had said in the interview, but read between the lines, the objective and the intended effect seemed to be the same.

It may be recalled that Ganguly had come out with a mail denouncing the Dalmiya group ahead of the high-voltage CAB elections that saw the same set of presidential candidates two years back. At the end of a bitter campaign, Dalmiya had then pipped Mukherjee by five votes.

Ganguly had lost the Indian captaincy during the presidency of Ranbir Singh Mahindra, when Dalmiya called the shots.

Dalmiya refused to react. “I have nothing to say, I am sitting with some people,” he told IANS.

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