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On This Day in 1972: Sourav Ganguly, one of India’s finest captains, was born

On This Day in 1972 Sourav Ganguly, one of India’s finest captains, was born

Sourav-Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)

On Monday, July 08, the legendary former India captain, Sourav Ganguly, celebrates his 52nd birthday. He announced his retirement from professional cricket in 2012 but continues to enjoy a solid fanbase to this day.

After impressing with his batting skills in domestic cricket for Bengal in the 1990-91 season, Sourav made his international debut against the West Indies in an ODI at the Gabba in 1992. However, he was dismissed for 3 and subsequently dropped as he was perceived to be “arrogant” and his attitude towards the sport was openly questioned. It was rumoured that Ganguly decided not to carry drinks for his teammates, saying that it wasn’t his job. However, he went on to deny it.

Sourav went back to domestic cricket and became a consistent performer for the state side to earn his maiden Test cap against England, and he made it count. The elegant batter scored a sensational 131 at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground to start his red-ball career on a high. He backed it up with another century in his next innings in the subsequent Trent Bridge Test and never looked back.

Over the next few years, Sourav established himself as a reliable figure in India’s batting line-up. He was handed the captaincy in 2000 after the infamous match fixing scandal involving some other Indian players. The Kolkata-born brought in some young faces into the team and backed them to the hilt. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan, and many more went on to excel under his leadership, later becoming stalwarts of Indian cricket.

India became joint-winners of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002 and finalists at the ODI World Cup in 2023 under Dada‘s leadership. He also led India to the historic Natwest Series Final, where his famous act to wave off jersey at the Lord’s balcony is etched in cricket aficionados’ hearts. The players who Ganguly backed during his captaincy days still continue to express their gratitude towards him.

🎂 Happy Birthday to @MohammadKaif!

🏆 His heroics for India in the NatWest Series Final in 2002 at Lord’s sparked a rather famous celebration 👀#LoveLords

— Lord’s Cricket Ground (@HomeOfCricket) December 1, 2018

Rift with Greg Chappell and memorable comeback

After Greg Chappell took over as India coach in 2005, he had his differences with Ganguly. The latter was subsequently dropped from the side, citing poor form. Rahul Dravid took charge as India captain after Ganguly’s axing. Just 10 months later, the Prince of Kolkata made a comeback to the national team and went on to play 113 Tests, 311 ODIs before bringing curtains down on his career. In Tests, he scored 7212 runs, while in ODIs, he slammed 11,393 runs.

Also Read: Ranking top 10 ‘thug life’ moments in cricket history

Fondly known as ‘Maharaja’, Ganguly also played 59 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches and eventually retired in 2012, with 1,349 runs. After retiring as a player in 2012, Ganguly has occasionally done commentary and also served as the president of the BCCI. During his tenure as BCCI president, he appointed Rahul Dravid as head coach and Rohit Sharma as the captain. The coach-player duo won helped India win their second T20 World Cup 2024 title last month.

Currently, Ganguly is designated as the Director of Cricket with the Delhi Capitals franchise in the Indian Premier League. He also appears on various platforms as an expert panellist, and never shies away from keeping his opinions forward.

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