Breaking his silence over his omission from India's ODI team, Sourav Ganguly on Monday said that it was "disappointing" when his one-day record is only next best after Sachin Tendulkar, but he had "accepted" the selectors' decision.
A reticent former Indian captain was unwilling to be drawn into any discussion on his being ignored but even then his hurt shows.
"I am disappointed just like any other cricketer in not being a part of the one-day side as I had a great year last year and my one-day record is probably the next best after Sachin. It is disappointing but then I have accepted it", he said in an interview.
Ganguly refused to answer questions about reports that he and Rahul Dravid were left out of the ODI team on the insistence of skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. "I do not want to talk about it," he said.
Following are the other points made by the elegant left hander who was named alongwith Sachin Tendulkar as the BCCI's "players for the period October 07 to January 08" for their exploits in the Test series against Pakistan at home and against Australia Down Under.
On whether experience should be sacrificed for youth and whether India was going in the right direction in preparing for the 2011 World Cup: "I know my answer, but I keep it with myself. I must say that 2011 World Cup is still a long way away. But I have a lot of faith in Dilip Vengsarkar somebody whom I respect quite a lot and I am sure good things will happen under him."
How many years the 'golden four' of Indian cricket -- Sachin Tendulkar, himself, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman -- expect to play?
"It is difficult to say how many more years we all will play. It depends on performance, because that's what matters in cricket."
On the general view that he could play for at least another three years: "It all depends on performance".
Does the Indian team need a coach since it has performed well without one and whether Indian cricket had learnt any lessons from the Greg Chappell episode? "The team has got Gary Kirsten as the coach. He was with us in Australia during the last two Test matches and we look forward to exciting times ahead with him. Regarding the Greg Chappell episode, I do not want to talk about it.
On whether he has spoken to Chappell after his remarkable comeback or if he has any plans to speak to him: "I do not want to raise the Greg Chappell issue again".
How does he rate Anil Kumble as a captain and what are his strengths?
"I think he has done fantastically well as the captain. His strength is his man management skills and the tremendous confidence he has in his players".
Has he spoken to Shah Rukh Khan, who wants him to be the captain of the Kolkata team in the Indian Premier League: "I have not spoken to Shah Rukh Khan yet. Let me speak to him and then we will see where it goes.
About the recent acrimony between Indian and Australian players: "I really do not want to talk about it much because a lot of things have been spoken and done. It's good that they have all gone back to cricket because that's what matters at the end of the day".
Whether unruly behaviour by players can be checked by tough umpires: "I think the umpires are tough in the field now a days. But sometimes certain things happen at the heat of the moment and the best thing is to sort it out amicably".
Use of technology in umpiring: "I think there should be a balance of technology in the umpires role. But we must realise that we all make mistakes and mistakes will happen always. As a cricketer, I feel that if the field umpires get a bit of help in the matter of the front foot no ball from the technology as they have in tennis, that they can concentrate and look only towards the batsman and that can reduce mistakes, because things happen fast in the cricket field".