SOURAV’S BEST-KEPT SECRETS
AS HIS NEW TELL-ALL BOOK HITS THE STANDS, THE BENGAL TIGER GETS TALKING
F or someone who made such a career timing the cricket ball – his off drives were so good that he was said to be next to God in the batting order – it could seem surprising that Sourav Ganguly struggles to be on time. Just as it would to see a man who says he is shy to go bare-chested and twirl his India shirt at cricket’s most famous cathedral.
That’s not all. As India captain, Ganguly had an uncanny eye for talent and yet he went spectacularly wrong in getting Greg Chappell as coach. But the skipper who was always spoiling for a fight on the field says he holds no grudges. He will be 46 this July and time, it seems, has smoothed a lot of rough edges. Except Chappell, of course, but more of that later.
“Now, I am happy so long as Sana is happy. That is important,” he says with a smile. Maybe that’s why he took his daughter and wife Dona for a late night show of
Padmaavat, even though Sana is studying for her board exams.
ALWAYS THE BOSS
With Ganguly, opposites align. “I don’t panic easily because when I took guard against bowlers capable of bowling very fast, I couldn’t afford to do that. So I had to train my mind to stay calm. Over time, I have also developed the ability to back myself,” he says.
That explains how the introvert can transmogrify into the host of a hugely popular Bengali television quiz show. That is also why, despite not being the fittest, he could compete as a cricketer till he was almost 40. The world may baulk at an idea, but if Ganguly is convinced he can do it, chances are he will.
When he became India captain and the team reeled from the aftershocks of a match-fixing scandal, a well-wisher gifted him former England skipper Mike Brearley’s famous tome on captaincy. But Ganguly, not known to read much beyond newspapers, didn’t think he needed it. “For me, the art of captaincy was not theory but practice. I wanted to chart my own way and create a new template for success,”
“FOR ME, THE ART OF CAPTAINCY WAS NOT THEORY BUT PRACTICE. I WANTED TO CHART MY OWN WAY AND CREATE A NEW TEMPLATE FOR SUCCESS”