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Ganguly retained captain for Zimbabwe tour
Staff Reporter - 18 April 2002

A fiery bowling spell from Zaheer Khan and a second innings century from Satyajit Parab saw Baroda overcome a first-innings deficit to clinch the Ranji Trophy after 43 long years. This was only their fourth Ranji title triumph in the 67 years during which the premier domestic tournament had been held.

The win was greeted with jubilation at the Gujarat State Fertilizer Corporation Ground in Baroda where the match was held. The first Baroda cricketer to be rewarded for his Ranji exploits was Rakesh Patel. Zaheer Khan's new-ball partner was among the 26 probables named for the preparatory camp for the 51-day tour of Zimbabwe. Zaheer too expectedly made it to the camp which was to be held at Bangalore from May 13 to 18.

"We have picked 26 probables, but I am not ruling out the possibility of a player who does not figure in the probables, to be chosen for the Zimbabwe's tour. This will be in case of an emergency. The one-day series will be played after the Test series. So there will be scope to look at other players. Venkatesh Prasad was considered for the one-day series, but we have seen him before," chairman of selectors Mr. Chandu Borde said.

The others who made it to the squad included wicket-keepers Sameer Dighe and Deep Dasgupta. Explaining Dighe's inclusion, Borde said, "The committee felt that Dighe did a good job in the Chennai Test. It's because of him (his batting) India won the third Test. It's not the end of the road for Mongia and Dahiya. It was the committee's decision not to pick them."

Yuvraj Singh, Debashish Mohanty, Sarandeep Singh and Sairaj Bahatule were also among the others who were asked to join the camp. Earlier, Sourav Ganguly had been named the captain of the squad for the tour, including two Tests, which was due to start on May 27.

"The team for the Test series will be picked on May 18," Board of Control of Cricket in India secretary Jaywant Lele said.

Ganguly was to be bestowed another honour in the week, probably the finest in his career. Thursday saw the Indian captain being awarded a limited edition Donald Bradman cap at his residence. Ganguly was also presented with a CD-ROM based on the late Don's famous book - 'Art of Cricket'. "It is indeed a great honour to receive this special cap. I am very happy," the Indian captain said later.

Meanwhile, in faraway West Indies, a great fast bowler and the holder of the world-record for most number of Test wickets bid adieu. Courtney Walsh might have broken Kapil Dev's record-haul of wickets on his way to 519 Test wickets but cricket's finest gentleman had always held a special place in the people's heart. His retirement aroused the Indian press into writing some of its most poignant prose on a cricketer. It was indeed a fitting reward for the gentle giant.

© CricInfo

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