We will collate various interviews of Sourav Ganguly given at various points of time for various issues.
We start this section with his fresh interviews pertinent to his recent retirement from International cricket. Other interviews will soon be on offing.
The Retirement series:
The last hour was special
Sourav Ganguly will be remembered as one of Indian cricket’s most significant figures. The left-hander fell short of greatness in Test cricket, but re-invented himself to end a very fine batsman, averaging 42.17. What defines him, however, is his time as the nation’s most successful captain, when he won 21 of 49 Tests, and changed the image — and the course — of Indian cricket. Ganguly spoke to the media after his 113th and final Test. Here is the excerpt:
On the decision to retire: I have had my time. There is a time for everyone to leave. I am happy with the way things have gone. I had a good series, we have beaten the best team in the world. There were lots of doubts after we came back from Sri Lanka. But the way this series has finished, I am ready to sacrifice a year of cricket for that.
On going out on a high: India (have) always played well against Australia. It holds good for Indian cricket in the future but at the same time, I know my other counterparts have mentioned it, it shows the seniors are good enough. My time is up, but Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid), and (V.V.S.) Laxman are still fantastic.
On what defined his cricket: Toughness. It was more than what many people thought I had. I have had questions asked right through my career. I am happy that I have overcome all of them and am here today because of my ability and toughness.
On the spat with Greg Chappell: Let’s keep the controversy away, it’s (a) happy day for Indian cricket. Let’s not bring that again, let’s respect him. Let’s respect whatever has happened.
On his legacy: As a captain I never believed a lot on the drawing board. It was a phase where we needed to take Indian cricket forward, especially overseas. I was lucky to have Sachin, Rahul, Anil, Laxman, (Virender) Sehwag and Harbhajan (Singh) playing their best cricket at that stage between 2000 and 2005. We have always been a strong team at home but were seen as a soft touring side. That has changed. I think we are a formidable side home and away.
On the final-innings duck: I was more disappointed with the 85 in the first innings. I was so close to getting a hundred. I don’t know whether one duck made my career dramatic. It was dramatic in any case.
On the private Sourav: I am two different personalities on and off the field. And a lot of time in judging me as a person, they have picked up what they have seen on the field, which is not the right Sourav Ganguly. I am very quiet and a soft-spoken person.
On his favourite memories: My first Test at Lord’s, my hundred against Australia in Brisbane and the hundred in Chandigarh (Mohali). It was my last series and it was important to get to runs before I finished.
On his last five days as a Test cricketer: I felt happy the way it ended and the last one hour on the field was special. Didn’t expect M.S. (Dhoni) to ask me to captain the side for five overs. I was already switched off. He woke me up and I didn’t know what was happening. I managed to do it for three (overs) and told him that’s his job, not mine any more. I have still not realized what it means to not play the game anymore.
'Result shows seniors are good enough' :Sourav
Source: Telegraph India
Nagpur: Sourav Ganguly addressed the media for one last time as a player, at the end of the fourth Test against Australia here on Monday. The following are excerpts:
Your feelings after the series
I feel very happy to win the Test and the series. We played outstandingly. To win the series 2-0 against the best side in the world is very satisfying. After the first Test in Bangalore, I thought we dominated all the three Tests.
In the last six matches against Australia, we have won three and drawn three. What does it tell you about Indian cricket?
India have always played well against Australia, not only in Perth this year but also in the past. We are the only side, which has competed against them well. It holds good for Indian cricket in future. At the same time, it shows the seniors are good enough. My time is up, but Sachin, Rahul and Laxman are still fantastic.
On your retirement…
I have had my time. There is a time for everyone to leave. I am happy with the way things have gone. I had a good series, we have beaten the best team in the world. There were lots of doubts after we came back from Sri Lanka. But the way this series has finished, I am ready to sacrifice a year of cricket for that.
Any chance there might come a day when you reconsider your retirement?
No. No question of reconsideration. Like I said, the way this match finished, it’s probably one of the best finishes I have seen in terms of a team performance. I am ready to sacrifice 10-12 Test matches for this performance.
Did the events of the last Test against Australia here in 2004 come to your mind?
I don’t want to talk about the past. Things happen in sport, you play well sometimes you don’t play well sometimes. Nagpur has been a happy hunting ground for the team. We once again proved that we are a good team.
(Cuts in) Let’s keep the controversy away. It’s a happy day for Indian cricket. The Greg Chappell issue has been over and done with. Let’s not bring that again, let’s respect him. Let’s respect whatever has happened.
The one thing you would take with you from your career
I think toughness. It was more than what many people thought I had. I have had questions asked right through my career. I am happy that I have overcome all of them and am here today because of my ability and toughness.
How was it to be asked by Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be the honorary captain for a few overs?
I’d already switched off... He woke me up and I didn’t know what was happening. Luckily, it was already nine down... I did it for three overs and then said to him it’s his job...
What do you think of Dhoni’s captaincy?
He has done well so far. He’s won in T20 World Cup, in Australia in the ODIs and beat Australia here. He has got the ability to take Indian cricket forward. Dhoni’s got the spark on the field and, like me, isn’t much of a drawing-board captain... He also has the luck which captains need.
You took your shirt off (after the end of the match) again…
They (fans) were waving at me, and just I took if off and gave my shirt.
It’s been a long journey…
It’s been satisfying to get a 100 in my first Test and captain India in 49 Tests, and building a team and players which has helped take Indian cricket forward. If anybody had told me that I would go through all this, I wouldn’t have believed him. But God has been kind to me and I have been able to finish off with a win for Indian cricket.
Any plans to pen an autobiography?
Will see. It takes a lot of time and patience. I don’t know if I have the patience.
What you think is your legacy?
It’s not just me since I have always believed a captain is as good as his team. It’s the raising of Indian cricket’s image in the world. The phase from 2000 to 2005 and even now it is continuing, the Indian cricket’s image has gone up. We were seen as a soft touring side. It has changed considerably. I think we are a formidable side home and away.
What about India’s fast bowling?
Ishant, Zaheer and Sreesanth — I have a lot of faith in Sreesanth. Hopefully, he gets his head right and gets back into the game. But they will miss Kumble overseas because it is not just about taking wickets but also about controlling the game. Hopefully, Bhajji will take that responsibility.
The crowd was really cheering for you…
It shows your contribution to the game. These people didn’t have an agenda... I’ll cherish this for life.
Did the events of Sydney Test play a role in India’s win?
It’s a long way behind and to be honest, every game is a new game. When you play such a strong team, you wake up and perform everyday.
Which do you consider to be your best win?
My best series will be the 2001 and 2003-04 series against Australia. We have won at other places as well, in Pakistan, the West Indies and England, but those two series will be my best.
Your opinion about Ishant Sharma
He has got an outstanding future. It will depend on selectors and MS, how they handle him. He has to be given breaks and kept fresh.
Captaincy, batting or the comeback, which of the three would you like to be known for?
All the three. It will be very difficult to separate any one of them. Captaincy, I just did what I believed was right. I was lucky to have Sachin, Rahul, Laxman, Sehwag and Harbhajan probably playing their best cricket at that stage between 2000 and 2005. That definitely helped.
Were you disappointed with the last-ball duck?
I was more disappointed with the 85 I got. I was so close to getting a hundred.
Wasn’t it a bit dramatic?
I don’t know whether one duck made my career dramatic. It was dramatic in any case.
'You should go out on a high': Sourav
Source: Cricket Next
Nagpur: The Nagpur Test will be Sourav Ganguly's last for India. The former India captain announced his retirement before the series and in an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN's Sanjeeb Mukherjea in Nagpur, Ganguly reflected on his decision to quit and much more.
Sanjeeb Mukherjea: There has been a lot of talk when it comes to Sourav ganguly. like Dada doesn't want to go, he still has at least a year of cricket left in him. What is your take on that?
Sourav Ganguly: I can't say much about the talks but whoever goes, he will always feel there is still cricket left in him. When Mr Gavaskar finished, I'm sure he too had cricket left in him. After having been around for such a long time, there is a time when you should just go and there are a whole lot of reasons for it.
Sanjeeb Mukherjea:What made you take this decision?
Sourav Ganguly: Basically, as a player who has been here for so long, you want to do well and then go on a high. One must also realise that if you look at the Indian batting order, number three. four, five, six have played 100 Test matches, which means nearly 13-14 years of Test cricket and time comes when somebody else needs to get in as well.
Sanjeeb Mukherjea: What exactly goes through a cricketer's mind when he says -- 'that's it, no more, I'm retiring now'?
Sourav Ganguly: I don't know what goes inside a cricketer's mind but from my point of view I can tell you that from the time I have announced my retirement, I have been completely at ease and mentally prepared to go, finish with the game and start another life.
It's sport, it cannot last for a long time. Any sport, weather it is cricket, football or hockey, people like Pele and Maradona have gone. They are the greats but everybody has to go. Even Pete Sampras went because your body changes; it cannot be the same when you are 23-24 and when you are 36-37. In international sports, when you are expected to deliver day in and day out, moment you drop from your standards, people will start talking.
Since the day I have decided to retire, I have been completely at ease and have been asked this question many times that I am not feeling any emotion that I'm going. That's because I am completely at ease that I am going.