Sourav Ganguly, or Dada, as we all know him was born on the 8th of July 1972 in one of the richest families of the city of Calcutta. He had a lavish childhood and was known to be a little arrogant due to his privilege back in the days. He started off his cricket training at the age of 15 under the guidance of his elder brother, Snehashish Ganguly who at that time was an established cricketer for the Bengal Cricket team. Interestingly Dada was a right-handed batsman but changed his playing style to left just so he could use his elder brother’s sports gear, who was a leftie. I guess these were the early signs of the intelligent cricketer he turned out to be.
Starting of the career
An indoor multi-gym and concrete wicket was built at their home, so he and Snehasish could practice the game. Post- an amazing season in Ranji Trophy, Ganguly was picked up for the national team and was dropped immediately after his teammates complained of his arrogance as he refused to carry drinks for his teammates stating the job to be beneath his status. His attitude towards the game and team was questioned but he denied all such allegations.
After Navjot Singh Sidhu left a tour in between due to some spat with then captain, Mohammad Azharuddin, Ganguly was called upon to take his space. Ganguly made his Test debut against England in the Second Test of a three-match series at Lord’s alongside Rahul Dravid. England had won the First Test of the three-match series; however, Ganguly scored a century.
Weeks after his successful tour of England, Ganguly eloped with girlfriend Dona Roy. The bride and groom’s family were sworn enemies at that point and this news caused an uproar between them. However, both families reconciled and a formal wedding was held in February 1997.
This incident was followed by Ganguly’s maiden century in one day internationals. In year 1999 Dada scored 183 runs against Sri Lanka in world cup, which became the highest score by an individual player in the history of that tournament. His 318 runs partnership with Rahul Dravid is highest over all score in world cup and 2nd highest in one day cricket.
Ganguly became the Indian captain after Sachin Tendulkar, then Indian skipper gave up the position due to stress and the team was also facing some fixing allegations. Ganguly is known as one of the best Indian captains ever.
During the period of 2000-2005 Ganguly had an amazing form and raised a brand new team India which included players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif etc. Ganguly faced a lot of criticism after he removed his Jersy during the final of NatWest series when Yuvraj and Kaif secured a win for India. His act was scrutinized and was called on to be against the spirit of the game. The jersey is still at display in a store in London and the moment is considered as one of the fan favourites in the history of the game.
Downfall and scoffs with Chappell
His rift with the then Indian coach Greg Chappell was another controversy. Ganguly was labelled as a player who caused a rift in the team and played divide and rule politics. Chappell faced a lot of criticism from the Ganguly fans while this beef with the coach caused Ganguly’s temporary dismissal from the team and Dravid’s appointment as the captain.
His successful come back in the test team in the year 2006 lead to his inclusion in the one day team as well. He had worked on his form and a massive change in his playing style was visible. After India’s poor performance in the 2007 world cup, Chappell did not renew his contract as a coach as other big guns had also given out some negative comments about him. On 12 December 2007, Ganguly scored his maiden double century of his career while playing against Pakistan. He scored 239 runs in the first innings of the third and final Test match of the series. He was involved in a 300 run partnership for the fifth wicket with Yuvraj Singh.
After playing four seasons of IPL, Ganguly announced his retiremnet from the game in 2012. His autobiography named as A century is not enough came out in 2018 and currently he is the advisor of Delhi Capitals IPL team.
He is also the president of Cricket Association of Bengal.
Stats so far:
|Captaincy Records-One day internationals|
|Captaincy Record in Test matches|