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The Legend of ‘Sourav’

“I just felt it was time for me to go,” Ganguly said on the eve of the first Test against Australia in Bangalore. Yes, Sourav Ganguly, A legendary Indian Batsmen has decided to call it quits with Test Cricket at the end of the India – Australia series. A sad end to the heroic life he led. Most successful captain that Indian Cricket has ever seen. He was the aggressor. Not scared of looking the opponent in the eye, Sourav led the Indian Team into the finals of the 2003 Cricket World cup.

Ganguly said he had not rushed into the decision and had arrived at it after he was ignored for the Irani Cup. “Obviously I can’t deny the fact that I was disappointed after the Irani Cup selection. To be honest, I felt I’d two outstanding years except the SriLanka series,” Ganguly said. For the record, Ganguly has scored 1667 in 21 matches at 45.05 in the last two years. The most successful batsmen in last two years for India.

Listen to What Sourav had to say at the Press Conference (Source: CricInfo Talk)

Asked as to why he was the most scrutinized among the Fab Five, Ganguly smiled and replied, “Probably people didn’t like my face.” The sadness in the voice was quite evident.Β  This came from a man who finally succumbed to the pressure from the Board, Sources from media suggest that this is a part of the New BCCI committee chaired by Kris Srikanth, to retire the fab four with grace.

“I didn’t want to make much of a fuss and that’s why I announced it at the end of the press meet because the series is more important,” Ganguly said. Asked if there was a sense of relief now, Ganguly said, “The pressure of doing well will always be there and that probably brings the best out of everyone. Whether it’s a relief or not, all I can say is I’ve not been sad.” Picking his debut, at Lord’s in 1996, as the best moment of his career, Ganguly said if there were any unfulfilled expectations, it was the India’s loss in the 2003 World Cup final.

“I think he’s probably taken the right decision,” Srikkanth said. “He had a good chat with me and my co-selector Narendra Hirwani. He wants a peaceful series without any troubles on his mind. As a player I can tell you that when you have an axe over your head it doesn’t feel right.”

Except for the lately concluded Srilanka series, Ganguly has given his best to the team. He made the biggest ever comeback in International cricket after the controversies he faced with Greg Chappel. He Stepped down as captain months after Greg Chappel became the National Coach. Reports suggested that Greg Chappel was not happy with the Captain’s performance and had also suggested Sourav a graceful exit to lead way to the youngsters. To decide who was right or wrong at that time will not be right, because both men are legends, have played the game their own way. Both are natural aggressors, as shahrukh khan once said,”Ek team mein sirf ek hi gunda reh sakta hain”, Translation: Every team can only have one Gunda. It was never going to be possible to keep them together. Ganguly gave away his captaincy to retain his place in the team. This presented an opportunity for the selectors to drop him, So they did.

The comeback, Ganguly scored runs while the rest of the team including captain Rahul Dravid had tough time scoring runs against the fast bowling. India managed to win the Johannesburg test. I still remember the pull shot he played off Makhaya Ntini, who had been constantly whizzing balls past Ganguly’s ears.

Ganguly was instrumental in making today’s stars ,Yuvraj Singh, M S Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan. He made the ‘Team’, he thought them to play as a team. Only this time, the same people are cheering the call from the Ex-Indian Captain.

Ganguly, 36, has scored 6888 runs in 109 Tests, with 15 hundreds. He played 49 Tests as captain, the most by an Indian. The 21 matches won during his tenure is also an Indian record, and his win percentage of over 40 is the highest for players who have captained India in more than one Test. Starting with a hundred on debut, Ganguly’s Test average has never dipped below 40.

In 311 ODIs, he scored 11,363 runs at 41.02. He captained India in 147 ODIs. His last ODI was against Pakistan in Gwalior on November 15, 2007. He is one of only three players to complete the treble of 10,000 runs, 100 wickets and 100 catches in ODIs, Sanath Jayasuriya and Sachin Tendulkar being the others. Along with Tendulkar, he formed a prolific partnership at the top of the order, with 6609 runs at an average of nearly 50 per stand in 136 innings.

Since his recall in December 2006 and till the end of the home series against South Africa earlier this year, Ganguly scored 1571 runs at 50.67, including a maiden double-century.

Well who can forget the famous Lords Victory against England where Ganguly played an instrumental role in playing the Team as a Team. Adding to that record is taking India to the final of 2003 world Cup. The news came as a shock to me personally, given the kind of person he is i thought he would make a stronger and even bigger comeback. But Ganguly decided the other way. I feel great pride in writing something about ‘My Hero’ for times when he struggled to score a single run, to being the best batsmen for India since comeback. He earned his name as the ‘Comeback Man’.

By calling this series his last against Australia, the current Indian Test Captain Anil Kumble has indicated his retirement. Don’t be surprised if this legend calls it quits before the last test match against Australia.

Sources in the media indicate that the England series could also see some more retirement calls from the fab four. This media sources also suggest that this is a part of the ‘Voluntary retirement’ scheme of the new BCCI committee. However Ganguly during his press conference rubbished the facts of any such scheme.

Well done,Dada. It is the best decision u could have made. everyone in this world demands respect and u were not wrong in calling this the last series of ur carrer. Now that u have ur mind clear, score a few hundreds and shut all the mouths of ur critics. The BCCI should plead for ur comeback, and at that time u can say ‘NO’. You gave faith and passion to Indian Cricket, you taught the world a whole new brand of “Aggresive Indian Cricket”. You are a hero to me, A prince infact. The fab four should rest in one series to let the selectors know the importance of experience in the team. It’s time the fab four took a unanimous decision. Now live life King size. U can go coach Bangladesh now and make a team out of them to prove the cricketing world ur poweress. All the best. I’ll miss u and I’m sure the rest of the world will too.

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Kunal

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  1. Ambika
    October 10, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Hmm.. That was thoughtful… just like Dada himself πŸ˜›

    Well I am sure, everybody would miss him and his Cover Drives… But, believe me, in Calcutta, the condition is too (with a few extra O’s) bad! Here, it’s like…
    “NANO gone.. DADA gone.. Hum jee ke kya karenge!! ”

    But, all good things come to an end… So is his career (and my comment πŸ˜‰ )
    Hope to have a Newer, Younger, Improvised Ganguly soon(with all due respect) πŸ™‚

    Ambika

  2. Kunal
    October 13, 2008 at 8:33 am

    @Ambika..

    β€œNANO gone.. DADA gone.. Hum jee ke kya karenge!! ”
    Very True!! They have nothing to cheer or ‘PROTEST’ about now..
    Every other day is a bandh in calcutta from what i know.. Now they will not find a reason to call bandh’s πŸ˜€

    Last few days have been bad for a sourav fan.. At least for me.. Not because he has made the decision, but the comments he is giving as reason’s for his retirement.. Comments on selectors and problems that he had faced are only leading to another controversy..

    He is retiring, and should retire with grace.. Sorry Dada.. That’s very true..

  3. Ambika
    October 13, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    I needn’t worry about that.. The people in Bengal would soon find another reason to call Bandhs. Here, bandhs are indispensible!!!! πŸ˜€

    Ambika

  4. Kunal
    October 13, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Calcutta! The only thing that comes to my mind is the ‘Howrah Bridge’ and Dirt all over the place…
    I’m not sure what u r doing there πŸ˜€

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