Raj Singh Dungarpur, a master of timing
Raj Singh Dungarpur
, the manager of the Indian side
which begins tomorrow with a three day warmup game against Pakistan 'A', launched a broadside at former
Indian captain, Sourav Ganguly.
In an interview
with a news channel 'Aaj Tak', he claimed that John Wright had on several occasions expressed frustration over Ganguly's attitude, lack of form and poor fitness. Raj Singh reckoned that Wright was unable to do anything about it and that he too felt that the laziest member of the side and the worst fielder could never be a good role model.
This isn't the first time Dungarpur has shown his senility. A few years ago, probably during the India-Australia series in 2001, he walked into the dressing room and in front of the entire team apparently told Dravid that he should prepare to take over the captaincy because Ganguly was a miserable failure.
Dungarpur is most famously credited in Indian cricket for coining the phrase 'Team of the 90s'
when he was (possibly) chairman of the selection committee, which resulted in Mohinder Amarnath famously declaring the selectors to be 'a bunch of jokers'
It doesn't require an Archimedes to reason that Wright was certainly right about Ganguly's fitness, attitude and form
. However, what is questionable, and unacceptable to me, is a team manager badmouthing a player who will be part of the touring squad. Admittedly Dungarpur's comments could have been a result of the questions posed to him. But he is a man who never likes to stay out of the limelight. So he obliged the interviewer with choice quotes.
Mind you, he will probably clarify that he was merely quoting what Wright told him and that these weren't necessarily his opinions. Why bother to do so? Why do so at the beginning of such a high profile tour? Why did he not reveal this all along, given that it is now over eight months
since Wright quit?
I see two possible outcomes:
- Dungarpur sticks by his statements, in which case Ganguly will pull out
- Dungarpur is forced to retract his statements and is sent back to India while Ganguly goes in the opposite direction, towards Pakistan