Ganguly’s guru gyaan on cricket
From taking off his shirt to celebrate India’s famous win at Lord’s 13 years ago to attending an event in town in a sharp tie-suit, Sourav Ganguly has graduated perfectly into the role of an ‘official’.
One thing, however, stays constant about the former India cricket captain — his humility. Biopics don’t matter to him, and he thinks it’s not fair for the current ODI and T20 captain, MS Dhoni, to face comparisons with him. “In cricket, I believe every captain is a baton holder. You just pass the baton from one captain to another. It went from me to Rahul (Dravid) to (Anil) Kumble to Dhoni and now Virat ... so I don’t think a comparison is the right way to go. Dhoni is an exceptional captain; I have tremendous respect for him. His record for India in the shorter format of the game is the best for any Indian skipper,” says Dada.
As for the prospect of a biopic, the 43-year-old says, “Maybe some day … I haven’t thought about it yet,” assuring that whenever the movie is made, it will be in Hindi and not Bangla.
For someone who was an active player till a few years ago and is now a member of the advisory committee to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), does he think that match fixing has tainted the image of the sport? “I agree, the game needs to be played properly. It has got to be clean. There are a lot of good things rather than the bad things. We need to look at the positive aspects of the sport as well.”
The Bengal Tiger’s travel tales to the Capital are mostly about work, but there’s something that touches his heart when he is here. “I like the open spaces here. When you get out of the airport and drive amidst the lush greens ... it’s the peace and the fact that the city has lots of open spaces that makes it different from cramped places such as Mumbai or Kolkata,” says Dada, who was in Delhi to kick off the Pledge Against Dengue campaign with Apollo Munich, to urge people to donate their platelets.
From being a cricketer to a domestic football team owner to a member of the advisory committee to the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India), the 43-year-old is happy with his changing roles. “I played football during my school days; cricket was always professional … you experience different stages of life. Getting involved with a football team and winning the first season of the league was brilliant,” says Ganguly.
What has always struck a chord between the icon and his fans is the mutual admiration they share. Thanking his fans for their unconditional support, he says, “I feel absolutely honoured to be loved by so many people. They take a note of everything you do and support it. I think it is a huge gift from God and I thank all those who have been so supportive even after I stopped playing. It has been really special.”
As for the re-building phase that Team India is undergoing, Dada says, “I think we have gone beyond that. We have found some good players like Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli himself, and Rohit (Sharma) has started to come of age. The tour to Australia has toughened them, and I think we will see good performance in Sri Lanka.”
I thank all the people who have been so supportive even after I stopped playing. It has been really special
It’s the peace and the fact that the city has lots of open spaces that makes Delhi different
Sourav Ganguly, cricket icon