My bit on Sourav Ganguly
One of the best written chapters in history of cricket came to an end as the “Prince of Calcutta” walked out of the field, never to return. King of controversy, the most stylish batsman I’ve ever seen, the most successful captain India has seen, Dada will be known for many things including his brave come backs.
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.
Saying, I like Sourav Ganguly, would be an under statement for me. He has been my favourite sportsman at many stages over the past decade. Even though I loved cricket more than its heroes, even though other sports like F1 took my attention away from this game at times, even though the clash of Soccer and Cricket, at times, gave way to Soccer, I always was drawn to cricket because of the pride and unabashed courage I saw in Dada. At times I would be amused by his ability to irritate Australia’s on-field Mr Unflustered. And at times Ganguly could melt The Iceman just by turning up late for the toss:)
Dada was a great tease:) I am positive if he was born as an Ozzie, he would have been celebrated as a rascal and an incorrigible bright man, but because he was the opponent (Indian) – he was rude, elitist, prickly, a time waster and serial pest who couldn’t play the short ball. I don’t know why, but I admire him for these weaknesses. I sincerely do.
To have appeared in 113 Tests while dealing with short balls as uncomfortably as if he was being shot at by arrows is astounding. The game is hard enough without having to cope with a serious deficiency as well, but Ganguly did it. I didn’t really like his replacing of gloves or protective gear every couple of overs, or his calls for socks, blister pads, face wipes and apples. Bowling 90 in a day is hard enough without the batsmen joining the turtles with the ball, although it added to Ganguly's character and ate at his opponents. Hehehe
In Australia and England, Dada was seen as a man of privilege, someone who clicks his fingers and an army of servants arrives to clip his nails or fan his face. Maybe his life is like that, but after being dropped as captain and batsman by Greg Chappell (for GC I reserve some choicest words that would redden his pale skin!) I liked Dada even more, when he was made to sweat and showing his middle finger to all he would come up tops! Not everything in life was laid out for him. But came back he did! And won even more hearts this way! What perseverance for this game he had!
At his felicitation last week to celebrate his playing achievements, Dada spoke about the need to make enemies for the good of India. He talked gently and softly, but with purpose. Of the players I’ve seen, only Shane Warne and Graeme Smith have been as magnetic. When Dada enters a room I’m drawn to him and even when he’s said nothing of real interest, I’ve been entertained. During the times when he’s sniped and picked and teased it’s been even better.
Before the start of this 'Fight of their lives' series between India and Oz, he was defending his form and was reported by a Bengali newspaper to have complained “every Tom, Dick and Harry is playing for India”. For two days he let the story run before issuing a denial. Off the field he was equally good at playing games and scoring points. I will miss Dada for his entertainment and his spice. With each year, more zany characters leave the game and as public life becomes increasingly sanitized, I wonder if they can be replaced by the next generation of media-managed clones. Long live Dada in our hearts!
Posted by Mee at 1:08 AM