Editor and founder, welovesourav.com
A cricket aficionado and a close follower of Sourav Ganguly’s cricket, Saptarshi’s life has been a journey of potpourri of experience ranging from his MBA days to corporate life. The name-Sourav Ganguly became centre stage of his life when Sourav was controversially dropped in Delhi test in 2005. He launched along with his friend Angshuman on 26th Dec, 2005- welovesourav.com, now turned into an online archive of Sourav Ganguly. Saptarshi is not an ‘arm chair critic' as he himself played college and corporate cricket quite a bit and loves to write with passion for Sourav at various places.
Sourav Ganguly – The Phenomenon
Sourav Ganguly........a name which brings forth thousands of emotion. A name associated with aggression, never say die attitude, great come backs....but perhaps he would be remembered most as a captain as he along with his 'TEAM INDIA' took Indian cricket to a dizzy height of triumph and glory by marching strongly forward from the days of nightmarish experience of match fixing scandal.
A captain to remember, who completely changed the face of Indian cricket. He swept away the 'Bunch of Jokers' from the selection committee and with it, all the regional biases as well.
He is unquestionably India's best left handed batsman ever produced. Once Rahul Dravid commented:"on the offside first there is God and then there is Ganguly". His variety of sliken offside drives is a treat to one’s eye. Of course one needs to mention his towering sixes as well. Who would forget his innings of 120 vs. arch rival Pakistan chasing 312 mammoth totals at Asia cup final in Dhaka or his innings 183 against Sri Lanka at Taunton in 1999 world cup!
Sourav’s one day record speaks for itself .Though he is the fourth highest run getters amongst Indians in test cricket and belongs to 7000 + Ivy League (ahead of Greg Chappell), the test stat. does not do justice to his huge talent. Well, one can’t expect anything more form a batsman who most often comes at number 6 and is left with the tail. One has to see that his average rises to around 55 when he bats at number 3 and 4.More importantly his career suffered jolt- almost a year off from international cricket, courtesy –Greg Chappell regime.
Whatever said and done, the fact remains that Sourav made almost nearly 19000 international runs in both form of game with 100 ODI wickets.
His bowling has always been under-estimated. But he was more than a handy bowler especially on seaming surfaces.
Along with his batting and bowling the one thing that sets Sourav apart is his aggression. He was never scared of the opposition and used to fight fire with fire. The aggression that we are seeing in Team India today is all courtesy to the Tiger.
Sourav was the first Indian captain to stand eye-to-eye against the all conquering Aussies, that too at their own den! He showed the rest of the world how to deal with Aussies. His golden run as a captain will be remembered as one of the most glorious chapter in the annals of Indian cricket.
Some great moments to cherish for ever - victories in NatWest trophy and the winning gesture in the prestigious Lords Balcony, Champions trophy, the golden World Cup run, winning test matches in India and abroad.
He was the First Indian captain to break away from the shackles of regional politics and had the guts to fight with the selectors for the young talented players, no matter from which part of the country they belong to. Almost all of Team India's stars, e.g. Dhoni, Pathan, Sehwag, Harbhajan, kaif, Yuvraj are his discoveries. He supported every player in his bad patches, but he himself was left to fight his lone battle at the end. He took the challenge whole-heartedly and tried his level best.
Criticism followed Sourav all through his career....but he knocked them off as he made phoenix like come backs one after another to show the world what he is made of – character of a true champion.
Sourav Ganguly's career is also an epitome of the ugly politics that prevents India from being a super-power (not only in cricket, but in all fields). Dada not only had to fight against players from different countries but also had to defy his own countrymen. No other player might have had to face these much criticisms (not even the match fixers). One can’t imagine what might have been the story if he was not removed from the team. Well....let’s stop imagining.....because that was the reason we saw the GREATEST COMEBACK ever in Cricket...
And finally it was time to say farewell to 'The Prince of Calcutta’- perhaps the ‘prince of Indian cricket’.
You are a hero of true inspiration-will power personified.
You entertained us, enthralled us, inspired us... and made us always proud.
Hats off to the great son of Indian and world cricket.
Cricket has already become poorer from the day you retired as he lost one of its brightest characters.
Adieu Mesmerizing Maharaj…
Dada...entire nation miss you....