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Selector Roy flayed for Ganguly ouster

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October 31, 2005 18:56 IST

Pranab Roy, the national cricket selector representing East Zone, appears to have emerged the villain responsible for deposed skipper Sourav Ganguly's exclusion from the Indian team.

From receiving bad press to Ganguly's fans burning his effigy, Roy, the son of former India Test player Pankaj Roy, is being criticised for "doing nothing" for Kolkata's favourite cricketer.

While the Bengali media thought the least Roy could do was walkout of the last selection committee meeting in protest against Ganguly's exclusion, many cricket fans accuse him of being selfish in continuing in his post.

"He's just interested in remaining in the selection committee. He is a puppet and doesn't have the gall to speak out," said Arun Bhattacharya, a Ganguly fan who led a small group of protesters burning an effigy of Roy on Sunday.

Media reports suggested that Roy was left alone in the selection committee meeting in Ganguly's fight to regain his place in Team India and he did not choose to speak his mind.

"He could have walked out of the (last) selection committee meeting. He could have resigned," said an article in Bengali daily Aajkaal.

A few other Bengali dailies also said Roy did not do enough to plead Ganguly's case.

Some sections in the press questioned Roy's silence and sought to link it with his closeness with chief selector Kiran More.

Somewhat curiously, some quarters are dragging in the Abhijit Kale bribery issue to link Roy and More.

"Kale named Roy and More (as having asked for a bribe to be included in the national squad). So, was there any truth in the allegations after all? Why is Roy not taking on More?" asked a cricket official close to Ganguly.

Roy has so far not commented on the bad press or stated his position on the issue of arguing Ganguly's case. Ganguly has said he would like to know on what grounds the selectors overlooked him.

M Chhaya in Kolkata