Pulling off a big surprise, the BCCI selectors on Wednesday named former captain Sourav Ganguly among the 30 probables for the Champions Trophy tournament.
It had been heard earlier that BCCI secretary Niranjan Shah had thought of picking a list of 22 players and even coach Greg Chappell had endorsed the view, as he thought it better to have handled a team of fewer players.
The 34-year-old batsman was sacked as captain and one-day player last October and then discarded from the Tests after the series defeat in Pakistan early this year.
Although a selector hinted at a return for Ganguly, his chances appeared slim after his recent poor run with English county Northamptonshire.
Chief selector Kiran More defended the inclusion of Ganguly, one of only four batsmen to score 10,000 one-day runs.
“We have 30 players here and he is one of the good cricketers we have,” he told reporters. “He definitely fits into the 30, there is no question about it.” “We have to bring the list down to 13 or 14 players and it’s good that we are getting 30 options to pick from,” More said.
The 30 players who have made it to the list of probables include: Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Mohd Kaif, M S Dhoni, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Ramesh Powar, Anil Kumble, Dinesh Mongia, R P Singh, Suresh Raina, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Venugopal Rao, Robin Uthappa, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, S Badrinath, S Sreesanth, Tejinder Pal Singh, VRV Singh, Dinesh Karthick, Parthiv Patel, Zaheer Khan, S S Paul and Piyush Chawla.