Ganguly-Shastri feud a war of egos?

Hurt at not being chosen India coach, despite his track record, Shastri hits out at Ganguly, leading to a verbal duel.

Published: 29th June 2016 09:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2016 10:30 PM   |  A+A-

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Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri (File|AFP)

One of the finest all-rounders to have played for the Indian team, Ravi Shastri was left fuming after not being chosen for the role of Indian cricket coach. The BCCI's three-member cricket advisory committee consisting of Indian cricket icons Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman chose spin wizard Anil Kumble over Ravi Shastri for the top job.

Sourav Ganguly minces no words about Ravi Shastri 

Having represented India in 80 test matches and 150 One Day Internationals between 1981-1992 Shastri played for the country even before Ganguly and Laxman made their debut. It is well noted that Tendulkar made his international debut when Shastri was the captain. But destiny had other plans as Shastri's job for the role of Indian coach was in the hands of the people he once mentored.

Many expected Shastri to take over as coach of the Indian cricket team, as he has had a good stint as the team's director since 2014; having guided the team to various victories in the past two years. India made it to the semi-finals of two ICC tournaments including the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 T20 World Cup under him. During the same period, the Indian team also regained the number 1 spot in test rankings before eventually being replaced by Australia after eight weeks. Credit also goes to Shastri for the bi-lateral T20 series whitewash against Australia, a first in a limited overs tournament.  

Despite his track record, the cricket advisory committee picked Kumble to take charge as coach for the Indian team. Kumble clinched the position with a hour long presentation during his coach interview, whereas Shastri did it over Skype from Bangkok where he was on holiday. Did this work against him? Did the advisory committee favour their former team-mate Kumble? Did egos play a role? Either way, Shastri was shocked and dejected at not being named India coach, and this might have led him to rant against Ganguly's absence from the advisory committee when he was due to make his presentation.

In an interview to India Today Ganguly gave a fitting reply to Shastri, saying, “If Ravi is believing that in a three member committee with names bigger than Sourav Ganguly, to imagine that I’m responsible for his not becoming the coach is like living in a fools world,” he said.

“I am sure he is experienced enough to know how the committee works,” he said, adding it was nothing personal.

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