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Ganguly decides to retire
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 08 - 10 - 2008

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said Tuesday he would retire from international cricket at the end of the upcoming four-Test series against Australia.
“This will be my last series,” Ganguly, 36, told reporters after a training session ahead of the first Test starting in Bangalore on Thursday. “Before coming here, I spoke to my teammates and hopefully I will go out with a winning knock.”
Ganguly was a surprise inclusion for the first two Tests after being ignored for the five-day domestic Irani Cup tie last month, regarded as a trial match for the series. There was media speculation that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had struck a deal with Ganguly to give him a graceful exit, provided he agreed to quit after the series.
Ganguly denied the charge, but admitted he was disappointed at being left out for the Irani Cup, and surprised when the selectors picked him for the Tests.
“To be honest I didn't expect to be picked for this series,” said Ganguly. “The speculation about my future has been going on for a long time, but I categorically deny any talk of a ‘voluntary retirement scheme', which is what the media is calling it,” he said.
“Such things do not happen in sport. Having played for so many years, one knows when the time is up.”
Ganguly, who made his Test debut in 1996, is the first of India's five veterans - dubbed the ‘fab five' - to finally put an end to their long careers. The others are Sachin Tendulkar, 35, who needs only 77 more runs to overtake Brian Lara as Test cricket's leading scorer, skipper Anil Kumble, who turns 38 later this month, Rahul Dravid, 35, and Venkatsai Laxman, 33.
Ganguly was India's most successful Test captain with 21 wins in 49 matches before he was sacked in 2005 following a public spat with then coach Greg Chappell. The elegant left-hander has so far scored 6,888 runs in 109 Tests at an average of 41.74 with 15 centuries.
Ganguly finished his one-day career with 11,363 runs in 311 matches, one of only seven batsmen in the world to cross the 10,000-run mark in limited-overs cricket.
A board official said last week that skipper Kumble, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman, all well into their 30s, had been told to plan their retirements by December.
Ganguly, however, said: “As far as I am concerned and some of the senior players are concerned, we have not received any intimation from the board on anything.”
Ganguly, an unpopular choice for his Test debut in England in 1996, silenced his critics with a century in his first match at Lord's. But he became a cult figure around the country when he led India to a thrilling 2-1 win over Steve Waugh's world champion Australian side at home in 2001. – Agencies
Kidnap threat
BANGALORE – Sourav Ganguly admitted his family had received a kidnap threat against his daughter Sana.
Ganguly, asked at a press conference if media reports about the threat were true, said: “It is true, but it would be better if we don't discuss it here.” He declined to say when the threat was made, or if his decision to retire from international cricket after the upcoming home series against Australia had anything to do with it.
Ganguly lives with his wife Dona and only daughter Sana, who turns seven on November 3, in Kolkata. __


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