Any Cricket fan who has watched a game at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata in the early 2000s will surely remember the audience cheering “Dada, Dada, Dada.” And why not? The mercurial rise of Sourav Ganguly was palpable. Now as the legendary cricketer turns 48 years old today, let’s take a look at Sourav Ganguly’s journey from a young cricketer to BCCI president.
Born as Sourav Chandidas Ganguly on 8 July 1972, he was introduced into the world of cricket by his elder brother, Snehasish. In the start, Sourav played for domestic tournaments like Ranji and Duleep trophies, albeit he got his big break when he played for India on his tour to England. The following successful performances in series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia, he cemented his position in the Indian Cricket team and even won the Man of the Match awards. Not to forget, he along with Rahul Dravid scored a total of 318 runs in the 1999 Cricket World Cup and it remains the highest overall partnership score in the World Cup tournament history.
Interestingly, Sourav Ganguly’s rose to immense popularity and power when he was appointed the captain of the Indian cricket team following the resignation of Sachin Tendulkar. Under his captaincy, the Indian Cricket team made its way to the 2003 World Cup final, where they were defeated by Australia. His team with young, talented players such as Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Mohammad Kaif, was touted to be aggressive yet formidable. He certainly emerged as the finest cricket captains of the modern era.
Coming to 2006, he became involved in a dispute with Indian team coach Greg Chappell over their difference and after being dropped from the team, he was again selected to play in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
If we talk about his achievements, he is the eighth highest run-scorer in ODI history and second among the Indians, with 11,363 runs. Add to this, he is the only cricketer to win four consecutive man of the match awards in One Day Internationals and the most successful Test captain overseas, winning 11 out of 28 matches that he led. His style of cricket was especially prolific through the off side, which made him earn the title of God of the Off Side. Over the years, he played as a left-handed opening batsman for the team. His announced his retirement from international cricket in 2008 after a home Test series against Australia. The same year he joined Kolkata Knight Riders team as captain for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament.
The Padma Shri winner was finally elected as a president of the BCCI in 2019 and he is undoubtedly a fabulous Indian cricket administrator, commentator and the ‘Maharaja’ of Indian Cricket.
We wish him a very Happy Birthday!