was writing a post on some other topic when I read the news on Twitter that Saurav Ganguly announces his retirement. We all knew that this was coming sooner or later. He was the one with the highest risk of having his career being ended with being dropped from test team one day or the other but when the decision finally came from him, it still hurt. Though, he did himself a favour by doing so saving himself from the shame of being dropped forever from the team.
Without any shade of doubt Ganguly will go down in the history of Indian cricket as the player most hated as well as most loved. Statistics will show that he is the most successful Indian captain though they will also show that most of these victories came because of the fantabulous performance of other players but the one thing which any statistics will ever be able to bring out is the charm of Ganguly, the leader. His was not the charm in usual sense, seeing him on the ground would not make you go “ahh” nor was he a very good statesman of the game but he put a charm on the other players of the team and made them perform, made them stand up, made them competitive an opposition which other teams started fearing, gone were the days when India was termed as the lions in their den who would return disappointments one after another on foreign soil. For this, I as a fan of Indian cricket salute him for all the moments of joy he brought to us.
Ofcourse he was a batsman of the highest class, one you would struggle to find for decades. No Indian cricket fan will ever forget all those huge sixes he hit against the spinners, one of the best shot I have seen in the 12 years I have watched cricket and ofcourse his trademark exquisite off-side drives with “God of Off side” written all over them.
I have never been that huge a fan of Ganguly the player for the last few years what with his sloppy fielding and the diminishing frequency of those off drives and the sixes but one thing which will put him high above in anybody’s good books is the way he made a comeback after being dropped from the squad after the “Chappel saga”. He was down and out and nobody gave him any chance but he did make a comeback and what a fabulous last 1 year it has been for him, this must be the stuff dreams are made of. He dazzled everybody around the world in his second innings.
This is a line from an article in cricinfo which can do some justice to him…
“When Tendulkar stood on tiptoe to drive, as if God had him by the collar, or Sourav Ganguly hit an off-side drive with such style he might well have been wearing a tuxedo, life somehow got better.”
I don’t think anybody will ever forget
The inning against Pakistan in Independence Cup when he helped India score 316
The t-shirt which was flared after the Natwest Series final
The inning of 183 against Sri Lanka in Taunton in the World Cup
The gritting 144 in Brisbane in the first test of 2003-04 series
All the times when gave tit for tat to each and every player who dared meddle with him.
Here’s to Dada who brought a lot of those happy moments which made our lives much better. Thanks for putting a smile on our faces so many times. Hoping he has the last hurrah and ends this illustrious career on a high note!!
His retirement has started the process which though necessary but was one which all of us dreaded. This is the “Beginning of the END, of an ERA”. An era of glory & beauty of cricket, an era of the champions. Era of the Fab Five