Pawar puts question on seniors' ODI career

Does the emphasis on youth means curtains on ODI careers of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly?

updated: March 23, 2008 11:33 IST
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New Delhi:

Does the emphasis on youth means curtains on ODI careers of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly?

BCCI Chief Sharad Pawar sidestepped questions on this, saying he did not get into selection matters and that performance was the criterion.

At the same time, Pawar told PTI these players themselves had stepped out of Twenty20 to pave way for the youngsters.

Pawar recalled Sachin Tendulkar meeting him to convey that players of his generation would like to opt out when the selectors were about to announce the Indian team for the Twenty20 World Cup.

"Sachin met me and suggested 'I know you don't interfere with the team selection but you please tell the selectors not to include players of my generation in the Twenty20 squad.' He said 'my generation is not fit for Twenty20, so give opportunity to the youngsters'."

Specifically asked if Ganguly and Dravid stood any chance of returning to the one-day side, Pawar said, "I can't really say one-day cricket is behind them. I don't get into selection matters and it's up to the selectors to decide.

"Anyway, it's not like Twenty20 where selectors decided to give opportunity to the youngsters," he added.

Pawar also made it clear that Tendulkar would more or less sit out of the Twenty20 format but continue playing Test and one-day cricket.

"He might play a match here and there but I don't think he would play in tournaments like Twenty20 World Cup. But he would continue playing Test and one-day cricket. He did well in the recent Australia tour too."

Pawar, meanwhile, showered praise on Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid and Anil Kumble, hailing their commitment.

"They are the players who encourage and motivate the youngsters. I don't want to take names but one of the bowlers suddenly started batting well, scoring 30-40. I asked him how it was possible and he said 'Sachin told me I can bat better."

Asked if Ganguly, like the way he did after being dropped from the Test side, sought his intervention following his axing from the ODI squad, Pawar said, "No. Even that time when he met me, it was for other personal reasons. Not only Ganguly, in fact no other cricketer has ever approached me seeking my intervention in selection matters.

"In fact, players like Sachin, Sourav, Rahul and Kumble will be the last ones to do that even if they are unhappy about it."