SOURAV’S BEST-KEPT SE­CRETS

AS HIS NEW TELL-ALL BOOK HITS THE STANDS, THE BEN­GAL TIGER GETS TALK­ING

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - NEWS - [ AN HT BRUNCH EX­CLU­SIVE ] Text by Dhi­man Sarkar // Pho­tos shot ex­clu­sively for HTBrunch at Eden Gar­dens Kolkata by Prab­hat Shetty

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”

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