New selection panel better than previous one: Ganguly

Kolkata: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly today backed the newly-appointed selection committee, saying the Sandip Patel-led panel is "definitely better" than the one headed by Kris Srikkanth.

"It's definitely a better selection committee than the previous one," Ganguly told reporters a day after being replaced by Anil Kumble as BCCI's technical committee chairman.

Sourav Ganguly. AFP

Referring to the current panel, he said: "It's not an easy job and there would be criticism, but these guys understand cricket. They have the heart in the right place and they're trustworthy.

"I can't say much about (Rajinder Singh) Hans but I've played alongside (Vikram) Rathore and Saba (Karim) and I know Patil and (Roger) Binny... It's a very good selection committee."

Ganguly appeared disappointed but chose not to express in as many words his ouster as technical committee chief.

"I should not be discussing these things when India are playing Australia in a crucial Super Eight match. I don't know why (I was removed), but I'm not too worried," he said.

Asked if he had lost the post for being vocal in criticising the selection policy, Ganguly said: "I don't know. I don't know whether it's for two years or what... But it's not a contractual agreement."

Ganguly had, in the aftermath of India's eight successive Test defeats, openly criticised the previous selection committee.

Ganguly termed the ouster of Mohinder Amarnath from the previous panel as unfortunate.

"A lot of things happen. You just got to deal with it. It's unfortunate," the most successful Test captain said.

Having replaced the great Sunil Gavaskar at the helm of BCCI's technical committee last year, the former India opener had been multitasking -- playing for Bengal and IPL franchise Pune Warriors, doing commentary besides handling the Board's job.

The Ganguly-led technical committee had made some bold decisions in the domestic structure that included doing away with the Elite and Plate divisions, which were ultimately replaced by three groups of nine teams each.

Even the Ranji Trophy points system had gone through a change, while the Challengers tournament was restructured with it being a competition among the winners of Vijay Hazare Trophy and two teams picked by the selectors.

It was a decision, taken in the aftermath of India's 0-8 drubbing overseas, to bring emphasis on away performance, Ganguly had said.

"The basic emphasis is to see that Indian cricket does well overseas. That is going to be the biggest emphasis for whoever is concerned with Indian cricket.

"The loss of eight Tests in a row has not been very good. So whatever amendments we make is to make sure we start playing well overseas. India will always play well at home," Ganguly had said as technical committee chairman earlier.

PTI