//Ganguly's mother enlists priest to help son's cause

Ganguly's mother enlists priest to help son's cause

LUCKNOW, India, June 8, 2006 (Reuters) –

A Hindu priest who says he possesses mystical powers has been conducting prayers for the return of sacked former Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly and says the player will make a comeback this year.

"I'm Saurav's family priest and have been sent here by his mother," Kartik Chatterjee told Reuters on Thursday.

"Saurav's mother has been really upset ever since he was pulled out of the Indian team and she strongly felt her son's stars were not favouring him," the white-robed priest added.

Chatterjee travelled from the player's hometown, Kolkata, to a cremation ground in the northern city of Lucknow, where he said he had acquired his spiritual powers, to conduct the prayers.

"Saurav will be back in action any time between July 15 and October 15," Chatterjee said.

The 33-year-old Ganguly was sacked as captain and one-day player last October after a prolonged slump in batting form and fitness problems and following a damaging row with coach Greg Chappell.

He was also dropped from the test squad after a 1-0 series defeat in Pakistan early this year.

Although the chances of his return look increasingly doubtful with the advent of many talented youngsters, Ganguly has signed with English county side Northamptonshire in his bid to regain his spot for next year's World Cup in the West Indies.

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