Host­ing World Cup fi­nal a big­ger chal­lenge: Ganguly

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Sourav Ganguly, the for­mer In­dian skip­per, is a busy man th­ese days. The ICC World Twenty20, which has it's fi­nal sched­uled at the Eden Gar­dens on April 3, is the first ma­jor in­ter­na­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity for the cricketer-turned-ad­min­is­tra­tor, but the pres­i­dent of Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion of Ben­gal (CAB) seems up to the task.

For some­one who had al­ways rel­ished a chal­lenge against Pak­istan in his play­ing days, Ganguly is now look­ing for­ward to stag­ing the In­dia-Pak­istan group league match be­fore a packed sta­dium on March 19 (Satur­day).

He says a great hype has been cre­ated for the In­dia-Pak­istan match com­ing up on Satur­day. Yes, there is a lot of hype. An In­dia-Pak­istan match has al­ways cre­ated ten­sion and ex­cite­ment over the years, and it is go­ing to be no dif­fer­ent for the Eden Gar­dens match as well. What I want is a com­pet­i­tive match be­tween the two teams so that the pay­ing pub­lic should en­joy ev­ery mo­ment of the match. Pak­istan has never lost at Eden Gar­dens in a lim­ited overs game. Yes I know. It [the record] may be bro­ken this time, who knows! Do you also think In­dia are still the favourites? Team In­dia is a good, bal­anced team. The team is ready to take chal­lenges. They have got seven match-win­ners and it's a ma­jor fac­tor. Pak­istan's bat­ting depart­ment is not as strong as their bowl­ing line-up. In­dia have an edge, but then, any­thing can hap­pen in a T20 game.

Do you think or­gan­is­ing an In­dia-Pak­istan match is a big chal­lenge as the pres­i­dent of CAB? Yes, but we have to bear in mind that or­gan­is­ing a World Cup fi­nal would be a big­ger chal­lenge. It's a World Cup fi­nal af­ter all ... Eden Gar­dens last hosted a World Cup fi­nal in 1987 in which Al­lan Bor­der's Aus­tralia beat Eng­land. We will be or­gan­is­ing one more fi­nal af­ter 29 years.

Look­ing back at your play­ing days, do you think get­ting four Man of the Match awards in Toronto in 1997 is your best achieve­ment? I would say one of the best, be­cause we won against Pak­istan at Dhaka in the In­de­pen­dence Cup by chas­ing 314 runs.

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