February 10, 2011

No one divides like Ganguly

Few Indian cricketers have polarised the fans like Sourav Ganguly, evoking love and hate in near equal measure. The IPL's snub will do little to change that
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Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, no other Indian cricketer has inspired such devotion. Even after he quit the Test arena, with an innings of 85 and a first-ball duck, "Dada" would be lavished with admiration wherever he went. I've been at IPL games in Mohali and Bangalore where other opposition players would be booed and jeered. But for the man perceived as Indian cricket's lionheart, there was only adoration.

It's hard to say whether the IPL franchises were right to ignore him, especially at the inflated asking price of US$400,000. But for a generation that watched him for more than a decade, it's probably just as well that he has drawn a line under his career. There are few sights sadder than that of the ageing warrior. I remember Darren Lehmann turning out in a couple of games for the Rajasthan Royals. A once-brilliant strokeplayer reduced to wretched slogger. Matthew Hayden was little better towards the end of the last IPL season. Sourav Ganguly played the odd fine cameo but was a misfit for the most part, fluent drives and cuts traded for ugly heaves and hoicks.

It would be ironic if the Knight Riders improved and clinched a semi-final place without him. But whether they do or don't, his legacy extends far beyond the little fishbowl of the IPL. Each time India win a Test match or consolidate that No. 1 ranking, they're adding bricks to an edifice that Ganguly and John Wright laid the foundation for. Starting with Eden Gardens in 2001, by way of Kandy later that year and Headingley in 2002, all the way to the Gabba and beyond to Rawalpindi, where a first-ever series win on Pakistani soil was clinched. They can deny him an IPL contract, but not his place at the very heart of India's cricket history.

It wouldn't be far wrong to say that the IPL debacle that led to his retirement was probably the first time Ganguly had failed to prove his detractors wrong. Right from his early days in international cricket, that was what defined him, this uncanny ability to make the naysayers look stupid. Nobody did redemption or resurrection quite like him.

The IPL isn't international cricket, though. It's cold-eyed business. A 38-year-old who hadn't played at the highest level for two years just didn't represent good value, especially once he had increased his base price to twice what it was originally. There's also been a tendency among team owners to see themselves as the stars of the show, an unfortunate trend probably based on US sport and new-age football figures like Roman Abramovich.

But no matter how many t-shirts as you print with Khan on the back, it's the players that the hardcore fans identify with. In that respect, some of the franchises have taken a huge gamble with fan loyalty. Bangalore has no high-profile local name, and neither does Delhi, apart from Virender Sehwag. As for Kings XI, there's little balle balle there with Yuvraj Singh decamping to Pune.

In a country so in thrall to personalities, it could be dangerous to assume that a "brand" or "badge" will survive no matter who plays under the standard. Ganguly may not have illuminated the first three seasons of the IPL, but his presence in the Knight Riders' ranks filled stadiums and earned unflinching loyalty.

For the franchise owners, it represents the ultimate devil-and-deep-blue-sea choice. Do you continue to invest in a fading star to appeal to the parochial or do you move on and build the best squad that you can? Club sport is deeply entwined with local pride, and football teams like those in the Premiership have only been able to move on from that after decades of building up a fan base.

Even within the Kolkata hierarchy, no one divided loyalties quite like Ganguly did. He polarised opinion to such an extent that everything about him was larger than life, even the reporting. To some eyes he was a great captain and a tactical genius. To others, who begrudged him every little success, he was just the man lucky enough to be in charge of the finest team India had ever assembled.

The truth, as always, was somewhere in the grey area in between. Mike Brearley or Mark Taylor he most certainly was not, but there was a pride about him, and an ability to inspire loyalty that made him the ideal leader for the generation that shed India's inferiority complex abroad.

His batting at its best had always been touched by amazing grace, but as Bracken, Jason Gillespie and Andy Bichel wound up and gave him the full-barrel treatment in Brisbane, you could glimpse the steely-eyed intensity

As we roll back the years, it's hard to look beyond his finest hour. For nearly two decades before they lapsed back into mediocrity, Australian cricket had a simple formula to take care of visiting teams. Host the first Test at the Gabba and hit them so hard that they went into a stupor from which they couldn't hope to recover. When India toured in 2003-04, it had been exactly 15 years since Australia lost a Test in Brisbane, and a truncated opening day ended with the scoreboard showing 262 for 2.

The prophets on the sports desk at the Courier Mail came up with this headline for the next morning's paper: "Indian Summer Over?" It rained for most of the next two days, but when India slipped to 62 for 3 on the fourth morning, that prediction looked like it might yet come true. Then, Ganguly, who had been told to expect plenty of "chin music", came to the crease and marked his guard.

Not even his most ardent fan would say that he had an intimidating presence. Viv Richards or Chris Gayle he was not. But from the moment he worked the third ball he faced from Nathan Bracken for three, there was something about his demeanour that suggested a man you wouldn't want to barge into on an ill-lit street.

His batting at its best had always been touched by amazing grace, but as Bracken, Jason Gillespie and Andy Bichel wound up and gave him the full-barrel treatment, you could glimpse the steely-eyed intensity. It was the same strength of will that had allowed the normally proportioned Springbok scrum-half, Joost van der Westhuizen, to tackle and stop the human locomotive that was Jonah Lomu in the rugby World Cup final of 1995.

Bichel hit him on the shoulder, and other short balls prompted awkward evasive action. But in between times Ganguly batted like the prince that Geoff Boycott always claimed he was. Not one bowler was spared as he struck 18 fours in a 196-ball 144. By the time he was sixth man out in the final hour of the day's play, India were six ahead. The summer was far from over.

Minutes before he raised his hundred, I'd gone down to the stands where the Fanatics stood, waving their Boxing Kangaroo flags. Some of them had history with Ganguly. On the tour of India in 2001, when India did a Houdini at the Eden Gardens, one of them had told me that they had footage of Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh showing them the middle finger after the victory.

The men and women I was surrounded by weren't admirers. It was fairly apparent that they'd love nothing better than seeing him run out for 99. But when he wasn't, after he had charged between the wickets to make his ground and then run a third of the way to the sightscreen to celebrate, I asked one of the flag-wavers what he thought of the man.

"He's a bastard" was the reply. After a small pause, he added: "But what a magnificent bastard."

Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • LaxisGreat on February 18, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    It is very difficult to find a balanced opinion of Ganguly. That way this article does a pretty decent job. As Dileep claims, he polarized opinions to great extents. It is actually very difficult to determine how good he actually was, both as a batsman and as a captain. http://senantixtwentytwoyards.blogspot.com/2011/01/big-brother-batting.html does a good job of analysing him unbiasedly.

  • on February 13, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    ganguly is the one of the complete Indian batsman except short ball but one of the most dangerous cricketer of his arena

  • on February 13, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Ganguly was a better Captain than he was a batsman, not because he was tactically better than anyone else but that he had a big heart and knew how to bring out the best from his band of men. However, he did spoil a few careers, Murli Karthik, Mohanty, S.S.Das, S.Ramesh, Sunil Joshi. Try as he might he could not spoil Anil Kumble's career.

    Nonetheless, Ganguly's successes were because he had the best batsmen in the world, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and later Sehwag. Add to it that he also managed to chip in with useful scores.

    Which brings me round to the fact that Dhoni is a luckier captain than others and he is going to have his limitations exposed very shortly when Tendya, Dravid and Laxman call it a day.

  • on February 13, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    today most of the young indian player's attitude is very aggresive but from whom they learnt the art of getting into opposition's face they hit you two you hit them four that was sourav ganguly was all about harbhajan ,zaheer,yuvraj even our captain cool they are all his legacy

  • on February 13, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    always will love dada because here was an Indian who told our generation --what a brat should be!!!! full of gumption, character and lots of charisma.

  • on February 12, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    Nothing can be more befitting in words, to honour the great son of Indian cricket ..

  • on February 12, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Nicely summed up, Liked the attraction in title and the ending. I loved the analysis where you mentioned about the non-local cricketers and loyalty of fans towards their clubs...In India most of the things are done as a part of herd and the franchises are banking on the loyalty created in 3 years and now it remains to be seen how people react to it..or the GAME is bigger than the personalities...

  • on February 12, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Dada was the medicine that a listless and listless Indian team needed after the match fixing scandal..He was a lion hearted cricketer and a true leader. But he is now old and should bow out gracefully. Even a brilliant thriller becomes dull and boring if it gets too long..He does not need to prove any thing by playing IPL. We would now like to watch him in a different role and not as a batsman ...

  • on February 12, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Sourav Chandidas Ganguly(born 8 July 1972) is a former Indian cricketer, and captain of the Indian national team. Born into an affluent family, Ganguly was introduced into the world of cricket by his elder brother Snehasish. He started his career by playing in state and school teams. Currently, he is the 5th highest run scorer in ODIs and was the 3rd person in history to cross the 10,000 run landmark and only the 2nd Indian to cross that landmark after Sachin Tendulkar. Wisden ranked him the sixth greatest one day international (ODI) batsman of all time, next to Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Dean Jones and Michael Bevan. After a series of plays in different Indian domestic tournaments such as the Ranji and Duleep trophies, Ganguly got his big-break while playing for India on their tour of England. He scored 131 runs and cemented his place in the Indian team. Ganguly's place in the team was assured after successful.i love u a lot

  • on February 12, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Nice article as the memories start fading away ..

  • LaxisGreat on February 18, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    It is very difficult to find a balanced opinion of Ganguly. That way this article does a pretty decent job. As Dileep claims, he polarized opinions to great extents. It is actually very difficult to determine how good he actually was, both as a batsman and as a captain. http://senantixtwentytwoyards.blogspot.com/2011/01/big-brother-batting.html does a good job of analysing him unbiasedly.

  • on February 13, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    ganguly is the one of the complete Indian batsman except short ball but one of the most dangerous cricketer of his arena

  • on February 13, 2011, 17:14 GMT

    Ganguly was a better Captain than he was a batsman, not because he was tactically better than anyone else but that he had a big heart and knew how to bring out the best from his band of men. However, he did spoil a few careers, Murli Karthik, Mohanty, S.S.Das, S.Ramesh, Sunil Joshi. Try as he might he could not spoil Anil Kumble's career.

    Nonetheless, Ganguly's successes were because he had the best batsmen in the world, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and later Sehwag. Add to it that he also managed to chip in with useful scores.

    Which brings me round to the fact that Dhoni is a luckier captain than others and he is going to have his limitations exposed very shortly when Tendya, Dravid and Laxman call it a day.

  • on February 13, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    today most of the young indian player's attitude is very aggresive but from whom they learnt the art of getting into opposition's face they hit you two you hit them four that was sourav ganguly was all about harbhajan ,zaheer,yuvraj even our captain cool they are all his legacy

  • on February 13, 2011, 9:50 GMT

    always will love dada because here was an Indian who told our generation --what a brat should be!!!! full of gumption, character and lots of charisma.

  • on February 12, 2011, 18:14 GMT

    Nothing can be more befitting in words, to honour the great son of Indian cricket ..

  • on February 12, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Nicely summed up, Liked the attraction in title and the ending. I loved the analysis where you mentioned about the non-local cricketers and loyalty of fans towards their clubs...In India most of the things are done as a part of herd and the franchises are banking on the loyalty created in 3 years and now it remains to be seen how people react to it..or the GAME is bigger than the personalities...

  • on February 12, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Dada was the medicine that a listless and listless Indian team needed after the match fixing scandal..He was a lion hearted cricketer and a true leader. But he is now old and should bow out gracefully. Even a brilliant thriller becomes dull and boring if it gets too long..He does not need to prove any thing by playing IPL. We would now like to watch him in a different role and not as a batsman ...

  • on February 12, 2011, 14:21 GMT

    Sourav Chandidas Ganguly(born 8 July 1972) is a former Indian cricketer, and captain of the Indian national team. Born into an affluent family, Ganguly was introduced into the world of cricket by his elder brother Snehasish. He started his career by playing in state and school teams. Currently, he is the 5th highest run scorer in ODIs and was the 3rd person in history to cross the 10,000 run landmark and only the 2nd Indian to cross that landmark after Sachin Tendulkar. Wisden ranked him the sixth greatest one day international (ODI) batsman of all time, next to Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Dean Jones and Michael Bevan. After a series of plays in different Indian domestic tournaments such as the Ranji and Duleep trophies, Ganguly got his big-break while playing for India on their tour of England. He scored 131 runs and cemented his place in the Indian team. Ganguly's place in the team was assured after successful.i love u a lot

  • on February 12, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Nice article as the memories start fading away ..

  • on February 12, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    He meant more than a player to us, who have seen him practice along with us at the eden...

  • on February 12, 2011, 9:26 GMT

    dada de best,.................................................

  • arvindthiru on February 12, 2011, 7:22 GMT

    Article just portrays what Ganguly was to team India. The complete turnaround in the Indian fortunes was brought up the Ganguly-Wright partnership. They gave hope to every Indian, that even at 20/3 India could reach 240 and still defend it in a ODI..that was the confidence in the Indian team and the entire nation they both built..on the field it was always exciting to see ganguly-the aggressive captain..and when he makes field changes standing near the batsman..telling him I am placing my fielder here try hitting it over him..that the aggressive attitude which has won so many hearts..though dhoni is successful..ganguly was one real great captain that India has ever had..in his batting..the way he plays through the off side.. even sachin cannot match all the shots..till his last game in IPL, I was hoping to see the old ganguly at least once..but the IPL never lets anyone play their own self..hope he makes a comeback somehow..thts wat he always does..thank u dada from a true indian fan

  • on February 12, 2011, 4:05 GMT

    What an article 1 what a tribute paid to the best captain of India - One cannot get a better picture of Sourav Ganguly than the author's suming up him. Yes, he fought like a warrior in the first test at Brisbane, sending Bichell, Gillespie to all parts of the world with that marathon score of 144. That really gave the Indian team confidence to fight out the remaining Test matches and the in at Adelaide (if I am right) is the icing in the cake. Ganguly has come a hard way and seved both Tests and ODIs in a admirable way. He is out of touch with big cricke for the last to years and hence could ahve thought about retirement little earlier than now. But, the way the franchisees treated him, is really tragic - that is life practical and Dada should now concentrate on administration. His expertise is invaluable. Thank you Mr. Dileep Premachandran for a nice balanced article on the former India captain !

  • Senan on February 12, 2011, 2:09 GMT

    Ganguly, The Prince of Calcutta, Yes Sir, he was the "Prince" Fearless and a true Bengal Tiger. I have always believed he is bought the fire in Indian cricket, the fire i remember as a child seeing in all Pakistani players when they played against us. Him and Wright have laid the foundation and we are bearing the fruits now.. You will always be the "One" that changed the face of Modern Indian Cricket.

  • Emancipator007 on February 12, 2011, 1:52 GMT

    3. Gang did still perform well against quality opposition (SA, OZ, England) after his impossible-against-all-acts Test comeback. And his average was nearly 50 in Tests in the 90s. He had almost caught up with SRT in ODIs before his ouster in 2007 (much like Dravid has almost caught up with SRT in Tests). By the way, Gang is now plotting to head BCCI (that will be akin to the Soviet Union collapse or the current,unthinkable coup in Egypt). One man who can actually pull the plug on BCCI and rid all the politico/old-line hangers on is Ganguly and his comrade-in-arms could be the statesman-cricketer Anil Kumble -who could be the best administrative CEO BCCI could ever have in its 75 year plus history. Imagine Ganguly Nikita Krushchev like giving defining and far-changing edicts for Indian cricket (spectator facilities, sporting pitches and man-managing fringe players) and Kumble being the hands-on Jack Welch running a multi-billion-dollar cricket organization utterly professionally.

  • Emancipator007 on February 12, 2011, 1:48 GMT

    2. field was all for Indian cricket.That's why no point comparing him with Tend, Dravid as captains or his overall influence on Indian cricket. Ganguly was more a leader than a captain. Dravid and Tend preferred to be gentlemen rather than reinvent their personas while captaining. I have to admit that Kumble seemed the same statesman as a captain as he was a cricket performer and person in real life (I had got that wrong earlier). That's why not a tear was shed by any team members (especially SRT, Viru, Zak, Yuvi, Bhaji, Dhoni) when Dravid opted out of the captaincy. Half the Indian cricket team still cold-shoulders Dravid for acquiescing with Greg Chappel's bizarre coaching methods (which Rahul Bhattacharya boldly pointed out) while keeping his goody-too-shoes reputation intact . Whereas Viru, Bhaji, Yuvi, Nehra came out in open support of Gang before they were mercilessly gagged by BCCI. Tend's captaincy stints on the other hand were totally undermined by Azhar.CONTD.

  • Emancipator007 on February 12, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    1.Seems like the last, definitive tribute on Gang's competitive cricket playing career. Inarguably Ganguly is the most commented upon player in Indian cricket EVER and on forums elsewhere too. (Tend comes close but feedback on him is mostly positive /adulatory). Egs, some 5 plus articles have been written about him post the IPL snub and he still gets the most comments and most recommendations (look at the no. of recommendations on this one..hehe). Some anecdotes about this most followed cricketer. The Potchefstroom warm-up game during his SA tour comeback in 2006 was possibly the most followed List A game with literally thousands of comments on his 83 on rediff and other forums which kept updating his score. Reporters were covering all his domestic games during his comeback phase in 2005. I want fans (it's a pan-India following, believe me) to remember Gang's words just after his retirement Nagpur Test: That whatever he did -persona changes on field and fighting/combative off CONTD.

  • MaruthuDelft on February 11, 2011, 21:07 GMT

    Sure that 144 in Brisbane is his finest. Even Tendulkar has not played a pivotal innings in his career so far; even his recent century in SA is not as great as the Ganguly effort in brisbane. Laxman's 281 was in India. In the next Oz tour under Kumble too he played 2 or 3 wonderful short knocks but couldn't go onto make a hundred. One thing is certain; when he wanted to succeed in Test cricket he had the ability to make it happen against any team anywhere. And combining that with that stuffy personlity, after Sunil Gavaskar he is the only Indian cricketer who can stand shoulder to shoulder with West. Yes. He is a Hero. A truly Indian hero.

  • on February 11, 2011, 20:24 GMT

    Great reading for all Ganguly fans. Last line is the best read:)

  • on February 11, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    Sourav is my super Hero.After, sourav retireement only i am started to like sachin. He is the only 2nd all rounder captain for india.After kapil dev.After yuvaraj and kaif arrives only india started to search super fitness.Before that there is nothing about fitness in india. And importanly ganguly introduced :- yuvraj singh, mohammad kaif, irphan pathan, harbhajan singh, zaheer khan, ajit agarkar, parthiv patel, virendra sehwag, ashis nehra, murali kartik, hemang badani, dinesh mongia, ajay ratra, sanjay bangar, sarandeep singh, shiv sunder das, sadagopan ramesh, siraj bahatule, rahul sanghvi, reetinder sodhi, sameer dighe and many more

  • on February 11, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    truly captures what ganguly was all about for team India... great article... :)

  • RAAJ101 on February 11, 2011, 17:21 GMT

    GANGULY IS THE ONE WHO ALWAYS SPEAKS OUT HIS MIND AND THATS WHY HE IS ALWAYS TARGETED.

  • KTiwari on February 11, 2011, 15:33 GMT

    Thanks Dileep. Excellent article. Ganguly will be forever a hero for many of my generation. In Cricket terms he is no less than anybody else but what puts him ahead and why fans adore him is his fighting spirit. Dada is a fighter..... Even this IPL snub is blip and I am sure he will be back again in another role and will make another strong statement. He will be back as coach or as an administrator and he will do great.

  • on February 11, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    Dileep - very good article. Ganguly the captain and leader is a cornerstone in Indian Cricket history and he along with John Wright brought a "steel" to the Indian team. He is one of the principal architects for India's continued success today. While 400K was too much of a base price for an once-gifted player "The God of off-side" - as Dravid calls him; I cannot understand how a single franchise failed to see his record and potential in building a successful team - he still has a lot to contribute in a role like a mentor. If indeed they are interested, they could have talked to him on the sidelines and given him a contract to play a team-building role as opposed to being an individual contributor on the field - Ganguly is smart enough to realize his strengths and go with that ...

  • on February 11, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    @ people like Rajib...The problem is that we tend to make Gods out of heroes. Most of Kolkata wants everyone to treat Ganguly as if we owe him something...forever. No. He served the country, got the acclaim, got the fame, got the records, gave a positive attitude and was respected for it. How long do you think we'll keep him on a pedestal and treat him like a God? Ganguly is such a towering figure that you can't keep him in the team with someone else as captain. He's the sort who'll instinctively get into the thick of things.Players like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid were asked to perform specific duties whenever they played in the IPL. While Laxman was told to go after the bowling as an opener, Dravid was used as a hitter lower down the order. They adapted to those roles and that's why they're still in demand. Ganguly should've learned from Kumble and gracefully retired into a mentoring role.

  • on February 11, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Love him, hate him! But one thing you can't do is ignore him. One of the most unforgettable characters that Indian cricket has produced. There have been cricketers in the past whose popularity/infamy surpassed their onfield performances. Jardine, Pataudi, Thommo, Engineer, Patil, Ranatunga come to mind. And then there were others who backed up their attitude with spirited performances (Botham, Imran, and Warne off late). But none come close to Ganguly in personifying the changing national attitude in the game and on a broader spectrum in other domains as well. Ratan Tata maybe busy buying Jaguars and Land Rovers, but it's Ganguly who's symbolized the emerging Indian audacity. A true national icon in these changing times.

  • CharuKhopkar on February 11, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    But whether they do or don't, his legacy extends far beyond the little fishbowl of the IPL. Each time India win a Test match or consolidate that No. 1 ranking, they're adding bricks to an edifice that Ganguly and John Wright laid the foundation for.

    YES, YES AND YES!! We Indians would do well to remember that for the future.

  • mraam on February 11, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    DADA will stand in the history books as a great.these IPL franchises will not have any place in history.the decision to give his opener position to sehwag,when he was (dada)playing well and a proven specialist at the position and with captain powers he can easily deny sehwag,but DADA never did that .after that his form dipped. In my view he is the greatest opener than sehwag in ODI format.there are lots of sacrifices and great contributions by DADA made indian team grow like this.NO ONE CAN MATCH THE GREAT BENGAL TIGER

  • Vijay_MatchWinner on February 11, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    Dada rocks. Inspirational person for his attitude, never say die persona, passion and confidence... Great article. After Sachin, Sourav is the player I admire a lot. Thanks Dada for all the entertainment and memories :)

  • crickesh on February 11, 2011, 11:18 GMT

    Nice Article! I don's know why people dont give him credit Saurav deserves. Who cares, I am glad that I belong to era where I could see People like Saurav, Sachin, Rahul and VVS were playing together. Never realize some of you just watching one of them and some of you just ignoring one of them ;-)) Those who question his ability to win single handedly dont know he got a series single handedly. Those who questions his consistency dont know that he together with Sachin has highest number of century opening partnership. People who have not seen that bad patch in late ninties won't enjoy this article. So hell with ignorents... I loved the article.

  • india20111983 on February 11, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    dada average against aussies is 23,against kenya it is 73 he was not even medicore batsman

  • JD04 on February 11, 2011, 10:01 GMT

    Hey Dileep!

    Good one. I never have been an ardent fan of Ganguly, though being a Bengali myself, but this article has highlighted certain facts about 'Dada' which cannot be refuted.

    His passion as the captain of Team India and his attitude of wearing his heart up his sleeve was always like a double edged sword... gained him admirers & also increased critics.

    He obviously had his drawbacks. The short ball, lacking credibility as a batsman at the fag end of his stint as Captain; but again who hasn't had shortcomings! Now, I realize he showed us a way, that if you had backed your strengths, you'll have your chance. HE DID EXPLOIT THAT WONDERFULLY!

    You will be pleased after going through the various comments on our article, it has served its purpose. The title has been justified, "No one divides like Ganguly"!

    Hope Ganguly himself would be pleased to read all the comments. He never wanted adulation of everyone but he did serve Indian Cricket and no one and can take that from him.

  • on February 11, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Its funny to see the so called experts of the game insulting a man who brought Indian Cricket out of the most insulting situation in its history called match fixing, and led them to the final of the World Cup. Someone who built a team of Sehwag's, Yuvraj's, Zaheer's, Bhajji's, etc. Maybe we Indians still don't know how to treat our real life heroes. WHAT A SHAME!

  • india20111983 on February 11, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    Last 2 decades Australia was no. 1 team.Dada's average against aussies is 23 , ,against aussies in finals is 17,against kenya it is 73 so one can make out wat a overhyped player he was ,responsible for destroying lakhsman career and tried everything to destroy all the batsmen in team to secure his place.It is because of politics and dalmiya he played this long and was made captain.What a waste to Indian Cricket he was.

  • aruntheselector on February 11, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    I'm not a diehard fan of Dada like the Bengalis.But there is a lot of truth in this article.Dada has been ignored mainly becuase wherever there is Dada,the rest loose their importance and the franchise owners do not like that.It was the same case with the selectors and BCCI.Come what may,the role played by Dada to take Indian cricket to great heights can never be denied.Even his detractors will not be able to defend themselves on this.He had an attitude and that was injected into the team and it showed results.Also there was a time where he dominated with the bat.His 20+centuries and 11000+runs in ODI speaks for itself.How can one forget the drives in a packed off-side field,six over the bowlers head,celebrations after he takes a wicket and making his presence felt in the field as a captain.He played the game with high passion and that changed Indian cricket.Whatever he did in cricket will remain in the memories of Indian fans of this generation.Thanx Dada for all the entertainment.

  • on February 11, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    Dillep, this is my favourite Ganguly memory by far, and I'm glad it's someone else's too.

  • on February 11, 2011, 8:18 GMT

    d article almost summarises ganguly's persona. No doubt he laid d foundation for what indian team is 2day but like azhar he was lucky 2 captain one of d finest cricketers. On d other side he was at times egoistic & arrogant. But most of them would agree[incl ganguly] taht d decision to field in 2003 wc final & hanging on with dinesh mongia in d team just for superstition cost us d trophy. As for sachin he led d team when some of d fine personnel like dravid were out-of form/wrechy.

  • on February 11, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Suarav Ganguly laid the foundation of team India where it is now so it is unfair to forget his contribution.He turne d the team of happy bunch of looser to the formidabal fighting unit.Even the World Champion Australia during their pedesterials were fearing and got the thrashing from the only team that is India due to dada fire to fire approach against the Worlds Best side at that moment.Although he havent score big against them but he is only player in world who got under the skin of Then captain Steve Waugh and many other players,I havent seen Australian side of that era had put to sword in such a convincing.fashion.Thank you dada

  • Sourabh08 on February 11, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    He is the 'GLADIATOR' of Indian cricket who took every blow to build the team which is No.1 today.Words can't define him but even if we have to do it this article defines his lionheartedness,passion,will to turn tables ,and will to never backdown from any challenge... No matter if his hardcore fans will not get a chance to see their prince once again on the field, he is the Tiger and like the king of the jungle he will always rule the hearts of his fans....

  • romanc on February 11, 2011, 6:45 GMT

    Dileep is absolutely right.He was real maker of the Indian team. If you check orkut player fans in earlier KKR he got more fans than Sachin. He was aggressive. He changed Indian team from below average inconsistent team to a higher level.His attitude was different from a defensive style of earlier though he was inconsistent with his performance in between. He came back later as a real champion. In his captaincy Indian started winning in foreign countries which happened before his era.

  • on February 11, 2011, 6:43 GMT

    Well written and while I would like to agree mostly with Mr. Premchandran, it really pains to see the legend being snubbed by all and sundry and much of it could have been avoided a la Kumble. His time is up even if Dada doesn't believe so. We think we are young even if most of us are past out prime, isn't it?

  • Umamahesh_Srigiriraju on February 11, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    No one divides like Ganguly. Righto! The contents of the article and the heading do not match. May be the author should have taken more time to present both sides of Ganguly - the good Ganguly and the bad Ganguly. But whatever it is, let us respect Ganguly for all the good he has done. Every Sportsperson has to retire and Ganguly is no exception. So, what's all this shouting at the top of the lungs? Did anyone of us invest a paisa in IPL? As IPL owners, who are spending lakhs and crores of rupees, they have every right to analyse what a 40 or 41 year old Ganguly can do in the middle. Leave Ganguly alone guys. Don't cry foul at his exclusion from IPL and at the sametime don't insult him either by talking low of him. Let's move on. Ganguly is now a thing of the past and he did a commendable job. Had his own armtwisting protocols as well. Cricinfo might do well by trying to match the heading and the contents in a better way so that there is a semblance of balance.

  • on February 11, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    Sourav Ganguly....the glorious warrior remains the most inspiring Indian captain ever to walk the cricket field. He got under the skin of the Invincible Australians by his shrewd aggression. Its because of him and John Wright that the Indian team is where it is right now...Shame we wont see him on the cricket field again but he will always remain my idol

  • on February 11, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    He was not great Captain as they say it. He just had some good players playing well under him.I will always remember him for the man who opted out out of Nagpur test after inspecting the green pitch. I just feel pity for the cricketing knowledge of the people who are trying to put him with the likes of Sachin.He is nowhere near him or for that matter even Dravid.

  • on February 11, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    None can replace ganguly....Nice article...I'm sure ganguly will come back strongly ...IPL is not the only cricket event ..there is lot many...Ganguly will answer the question raised by the stupid IPL franchises ...

  • on February 11, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    "You have enemies ? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life"

  • on February 11, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    Naturewise, skillwise...and other things... It doesn't matter as long as u have the heart to fight it out till the very end. Thats what Dada is all about. It wont be wrong if i say the pillars of this no.1 team was solely because of Dada. Viru, Yuvi, Bhajji, Zaheer were all backed up by their then skipper, Ganguly even when selectors had other opinions. He is arrogant, no doubt about that. If anyone will hit him with a brick, he will retaliate with hitting them with stones:)

  • Jan on February 11, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    Every word in this post is true about the cricketer in Sourav Ganguly. May be his cricketing career ended but still he has that fire to perform either with the bat or in some other means. Would love to see him soon in some avatar.

  • on February 11, 2011, 2:14 GMT

    But what a magnificent bastard..!! If its anyone deserves credit for making us believe we could reach the skies.. its Him... Am afraid i will never get a chance to see him play in the international arena.. miss u Dada..!!

  • on February 11, 2011, 1:47 GMT

    Ganguly and Sachin!!!! no comparison... even Dravid is way better than Ganguly... nature wise and as a person...

  • on February 11, 2011, 0:41 GMT

    A tiger remains a tiger, even when the poachers are after him.

  • Selva_1980 on February 10, 2011, 22:29 GMT

    No one can forget his one day records. If he did not become the captain of India then he would have crossed Sachin Record in ODI and Tests. Between 1999 and 2001, he was the king in cricket. Unfortunately he made Indian team captain because of sachin politics. Sachin always wants to live in safe position. So he made his friend as captain. Result was gaguly exit from cricket.

  • rohanblue on February 10, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    he is bhagat singh of indian cricket, bhagat singh died fr our independence bt we have someone elses picture in our notes, dada did everything to make india a champion team and dhoni endorsing 20 brands...........

  • on February 10, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    He ducked nothing, unless he was suffering for "greentrackitis". Thanks for gifting Australia's their only test series win, in India, in recent times Sourav

  • on February 10, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    Saurav is an inspiration for all the meek men & women.

  • the_blue_android on February 10, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    He was a good captain at times and a very average batsmen who lacked patience. He threw away his wicket too many times for me to admire him as a batsman. People say he is a brilliant tactician. Does anyone want to show me examples of his tactics? I remember one. WC 2003 finals.

  • saifud on February 10, 2011, 18:45 GMT

    i love ganguly.he is one of the best lefthander.

  • on February 10, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    FYI ..historic series win in pakistan was because of WALL not DADA.. but nothing against him.. he was and will be on the cricket's legend!!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    Soourav Ganguly is an enigma.One of the best captains of India.He was a very good off-side player but he improved on his leg side play with fluent pulls in the later half of his career.He was a terrific one day player but was a bit inconsistent in the tests.He believed in his players and gave them umpteen chances to prove themselves.But he was the same guy who was reported to have disciplinary issues right in his first overseas tour.He had the cudgels to pick up a fight with BCCI administrators like late Rajsingh Dungarpur.He had a very poor 2004-2005 season and became too big for his boots.You can watch a ambling and unfit Ganguly aborting his chase for the ball from mid off even though the ball had a fair distance to travel.But he made a grand comeback after the Chappel fiasco and tells a lot about his character.But he should have made himself unavailable for IPL 4.He just divides opinions like no other person.

  • on February 10, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    He is definitely a one-off and as a captain was simply brilliant. Maybe he had flaws but his charisma and cricket brain contributed to developing many players who are world-class today. MS Dhoni has a lot to thank him for! Me, I miss him so.

  • on February 10, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Gangully developed the Indian team(even management and selection crew) so Aggressive and Systematically that,Gangully himself never knew one day he has to pay for it..!!

    Great player..., but was not serious about consistency....!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 18:07 GMT

    It is just a surprise to see people thinking that ganguli was any thing but a great batsmas . A batsman who had average more than 40 through out his entire test carrier .

  • mousum013 on February 10, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    there's lot of example in this world that human being misjudge some of the the great hero...i think ipl team owner and bcci misjudged and dishonor him in vary aspect...whatever u r in our heart always and will be...i'm a bangladeshi but i salute his contribution in indian cricket..u r welcome in our cricket...dada, u r icon...we love u...

  • gujratwalla on February 10, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    Think this hero worship is going to extremes!He was good once and did very good!But like everybody else his time is up and he should give way for others.

  • Tiptop32 on February 10, 2011, 17:52 GMT

    Dada is always the great legend of India. He is India's pride.

  • bharath74 on February 10, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    Ganguly is the captain who instilled the thought of self belief that anybody can be beatable and they did it from the circumstances where other captains wud have given up. I can proudly say "Ganguly is the best captain India had ever had."

  • on February 10, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    must read article for all DADAs fans........ after a long tym sum1 remembered him.... excellent1

  • on February 10, 2011, 17:20 GMT

    Anyone who cares for the welfare of Indian cricket cannot ignore Ganguly. What he has done for Indian cricket, few people have done. Not all realise the value of Ganguly is a different thing all together.

  • on February 10, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    dada is fantastic human being.. calm yet aggressive..hats off

  • on February 10, 2011, 16:35 GMT

    he is just a pure icon cricketer and a never-give-up attitude person.. .. .. I'm sure he"ll come out of this tough situation and prove his metal again.. .. .. and always we love you the most.. .. .. Sourav!!!!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    Ganguly has been by far the best captain in modern game India has ever got. He has also been one of the greatest batsmen India has ever produced. He built the team that won test matches outside subcontinent. He was the bravest with immense self belief.

  • FR3AKX on February 10, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Stop cribbing and give this man the credit he deserves for being a motivational leader, a great fighter and a classy batsman... he might hv done a few bad things over time but that in no way takes away what he gave this Indian team - "In your face" attitude which has built the foundation of them being No. 1 & 2 in Tests and ODI's respectively. And i don't think ne1 in the history of cricket could hit sixes as effortlessly and sweetly as this man.. his timing was second to none and a pleasure to watch. Its time for him to move on... so just let him be.. stop cribbing and giv him some respect being an Indian.

  • on February 10, 2011, 16:15 GMT

    You can either hate him or love him,but u can't ignore him.........very true for saurav ganguly

  • Deepkar on February 10, 2011, 15:31 GMT

    Dada i never really liked him but i cant say he was not legend man he was tiger i everyone have seen croud chearing 2nd indian wicket fall to welcome sachin i also chear when 2nd wicket falls but i remember kolkata croud chearing 4th wickdt fall to welcome their prince and guess who was 4th wicket to fall it was sachin best opener in the world after sachin, best odi indian batsman after sachin And best indian test captain second to no one he was god of off side, killer of spinners, fighter as captain all true i admire him but dont know why from my heart i never likes him.

  • dealsavik on February 10, 2011, 14:55 GMT

    can anyone deny? he is the second most popular cricketer in India after Sachin?

  • Bamarolls on February 10, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    I became fan of DADA when he took revenge at Lords...taking his shirt off. He brought the extra element to the team - consistency in winning attitude on top of the grittiness at batting crease. Long live DADA. Lest I am not truthful to myself, I hated all the comments questioning his technical abilities...proof is in the pudding his scores at the highest levels of the game for winning causes. He does not have to be chosen by profit barrons (rightfully so) to secure his place amongst the greats.

  • on February 10, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Most of us dont like Saurav Ganguly even I don't but I accept that he changed the way India played cricket. Ganguly brought aggression in the Team. Many people praises Dhoni for the success of Indian team but Dhoni got this team because of Saurav Ganguly. He backed many players even when they were not performing eg is Yuvraj Singh. What do You Say?

  • on February 10, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    Ganguly was an unleashed champion. You can never ignore him, some might consider him a villain but it was only due to him KKR was never in loss if you consider in money matter and sponser. In history of cricket perhaps you will never find any Cricketer whose exclusion triggered a nuisance in Politics of a country. It was ganguly's team that snatched victory from the jaw of Britisher in Nat west trophy final. A salute to Great Hero.

  • ScreenName_Cricinfo on February 10, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Ganguly's career always swung to the extremes. He was brilliant as a captain and a player at the beginning of his captaincy career and he was so bad towards the end. Even his batting was sublime from 1997 to 2003 and then went down really bad for a couple of years before he was dropped. I donno why people keep calling Dhoni purely lucky and that he has a good team. Ganguly took charge during a crisis. Started something unseen in Indian cricket for a long time. Dravid took over during the "Ganguly drop" crisis. He too did reasonably well. Then we have the WC 2007 crisis. Dhoni took over, had the nerve to omit Ganguly and Dravid from CB series and bring in youngsters. Pulled it off! Won the T20 world cup where he performed well too. Ever since he too is going through ups and downs as a batsman. The important point is the good work is being continued. Hopefully there is no mega crisis in the near future. The next big crisis might be the retirement of Sachin, Lax, rahul and Zak!

  • on February 10, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    ganguly for me was the best captain for INDIA...he formed the team and not somebody like dhoni whu is just reaping what ganguly sowed.....VIRU, UV, BHAJJI, ZAK all are products of ganguly...probably they wudnt have been the same great players w/o him......

  • on February 10, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    JESUS i am sick of the support dada is getting recenly, the guy did good 10 years ago ....but this DADA worship has to END!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    for me HE was the best captain for INDIA.... come what may nobody can take his place... he formed the TEAM and not somebody like DHONI who just had great players to play with......ZAK , YUVRAJ, BHAJJI, VIRU....actually these ppl may be wud not have been that great had it been not him...

  • on February 10, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    Easily my most favorite cricketer from across the border. He brought to Indian Cricket what Imran Khan brought to Our cricket. Dada was a pleasure to watch on the field -

    But hopefully we will see more of him in the commentary box

  • india20111983 on February 10, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    he tried to destroy all batsmen in side to secure his position and played with batsmen batting order for his selfishness....

  • Sachin_Raina_Fan on February 10, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    gud article about Dada.... really heart breaking to see careers of greats like Dada, ponting,tiger woods changing like this... also happy to see Sachin, Gillchrist, Muralidharan having so much value till now...i think it is the ATTITUDE that makes the difference....

  • on February 10, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    Nice article! Ganguly has been a true legend of the game..an unsung hero.. He's spent three-fourths of his life in proving the critics right..a great man..full of determination and sheer guts..that even harbhajan and sehwag publicly expressed their support when he was ousted out of d team during greg chappel's tenure. LOVE U DADA..U're my inspiration!

  • on February 10, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    I think it also prove that how though a Bengali person have to fight in India for their career.They call it "zone or quota "!! He was smart no doubt and he had money no doubt those gave him little support to flourish his huge talent. But when have to deal with selectors like Shreekant whose ability with bat is little better than Harbhajan and little less than Irfan Phathan makes judgement on your career. Then u know u are in trouble. I hardly care about IPL, Sourav already shown the world what he is!.

  • imirfan on February 10, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    Ganguly was strong on the off side but not too strong if the ball was straight towards his body or towards the wickets. But he was a good player stylish as Saeed Anwar was.....

  • india20111983 on February 10, 2011, 11:27 GMT

    because of dalmiya and politics he survived

  • kiranmn on February 10, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    I just cannot agree with whatever has been mentioned in his article. Instead of best captain India has ever produced, this guy is the luckiest captain India ever produced. If not for Rahul or Sachin or other great players ,Sourav would have been nowhere. A captain is as good as his team ,this certainly suits him. Damn lucky captain

  • on February 10, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    @Shri1966..... Name one budding cricketer whose career he destroyed ....he was dropped in favor of T P Singh, where is he? kapil retired gracefully... do u even know anything abt cricket? taking the board for a ride.......what do u mean by this? he demoted him to bat at No 4........barring natwest trophy nd a few one dayers before nd after that series sachin always opened under his captaincy. do not get over exicted with victories........means whoever gets excited is not a grt cricketer. He has never won a single match single handedly.....u are the biggest fool is clearly on the display by this lin, ill mention a few... sahara cup 1997, independence cup final dhaka, kandy test match 2001, world cup semifinal ,141 vs pak in adelaide. he was harsh with the media people at times....u belong to the same class or what? Its his Karma which has thrown him finally out of the game.....very philosophical isnt it...its khan nd maalyas that hav not picked him...not th karma..

  • on February 10, 2011, 10:35 GMT

    Like the title suggests - the comments here would certainly be polarized as well. On cricketing terms - few have been as selfless and selfish at once. Despite proven success he gave up the ODI opening slot to Sehwag, came in at No.6 in tests though he had formidable record at #3 and #5 slots, backed Bhajji, Yuvraj through their dip of form and essentially built the cohesive, aggressive team which weren't tigers at home alone by getting rid of the regional bias of team selection. Yet this was a man who indulged in politics with VVS to keep his own place, backed Dinesh Mongia even as Murali Kartik never as much got a look in, feigned injuries and skipped fielding sessions giving excuses.If one could be an ODI great, score 2 tons on test debut without playing the short ball well so be it! IPL, however is a business venture and requires impact players in short, sharp bursts. Out of top flight cricket for 2 yrs, possibly 41 yrs old if contracted, Ganguly just isn't value for money now!

  • on February 10, 2011, 10:31 GMT

    One thing i learnt from him is " How to Fight back when all chips are down and when everything looks like the end of road for someone"....They way he fighted when he was down i doubted the greats of the game can do so. He was the first ever captian to be dumped from team without giving him the chance to play in the eleven. The last line of this article also shows what the opposition fans use to think for him. So cheers to his fighting spirit... A salute to a legend !!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 10:28 GMT

    Saurav ganguly's omission from the IPL seemed strange to me from a cricketing standpoint as well as a business standpoint. Even though Dravid and Laxman are better all round batsmen, Ganguly was a class apart in limited overs cricket. A great captain and a handy medium pacer.Heck, he was the 4th highest scorer in IPL 3. He even won 4 man of the matches in the IPL.Coming to the business side of things, Ganguly may have been out of cricket for long but I still think he has immense brand value. Case in point...every single advertisement featuring KKR over the last 3 years featured ganguly prominently. How could the 10 franchises leave him out is beyond me!!! I am a bong, and have supported KKR in the last 3 seasons passionately; but this time I guess I need to find a new team to support in IPL because there is nothing remotely "Kolkatan" in KKR.

  • epark on February 10, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    Saurav's cricket life was always in a tussle between a loin hearted cricketer and chicken hearted guys....not at all those management guys were the sportsman at all. He was the fantastic cricket player to watch on and off the ground. This article is really a tribute to the best ever cricketer from bengal and the best gifted captain of Indian Cricket. Hats off Dada....

  • on February 10, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    You can hate Dada or you can love Dada... But you can never ignore Dada...

  • Aristocratt on February 10, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    Lovely piece from Dileep, stirring.

  • on February 10, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    i guess ur title says it all . even the comments posted are divided. Ganguly heralded the golden age of Indian cricket .Sachin had the same team but was never had the same steele to mould the next generation team. It is that steele that the Indian team still displays "In your face".So in retospect he was one of the few that knew how to win and whatever he felt he wore it on his sleeve. He might not have had the political correctness of Dravid and Kumble or the genius of Sachin but he never cared for what other felt. He fought for Bhajji ,yuvi,Zaheer and Sehwag who are the corner stones for WC 2011 so i guess he was not bad at identifying talent as well. I still remember the gabba when he showed the top order that most of the game can be played between the two ears and headingly 02 when he blindsided the english after been offered light.The IPL is nothing more but Bollywood's intepretation on how cricket must be played .A snub from them would matter little to our DADA.

  • Sehwagology on February 10, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    Ganguly both the captain and the batsman was over-rated. He was the leader India needed in the aftermath of the match fixing scandal and Tendulkar's multiple failures at captaincy. He was also a good man manager and encouraged both youth and agression. However he was tactically poor and during his tenure India won only one overseas series - against Pakistan. They lost in Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand, to a poor West Indian side and failed to beat both Zimbabwe and an Australian side that was without both McGrath and Warne - a fact that is frequently overlooked when we get all misty eyed about that 2003-04 tour. His batting was also inconsistent and highly suspect against pace and I find it strange that India's middle order from the noughties is often referred to as the"Fab Four" when the other three were in a different league in terms of quality of batsmanship (in test cricket).

  • on February 10, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    @Shri1966..... Name one budding cricketer whose career he destroyed ....he was dropped in favor of T P Singh, where is he? kapil retired gracefully do u even know anything abt cricket taking the board for a ride.......what do u mean by this? he demoted him to bat at No 4........barring natwest trophy nd a few one dayers before nd after that series sachin always opened under his captaincy do not get over exicted with victories........means who ever gats excited is not a grt cricketer... He has never won a single match single handedly.....u are the biggest fool is clearly on the display by this line.....ill mention a few... sahara cup 1997 independence cup final dhaka kandy test match 2001 world cup semifinal 141 vs pak in adelaide he was harsh with the media people at times....u belong to the same class or what Its his Karma which has thrown him finally out of the game.....very philosophical isnt it...its khan nd maalyas that hav not picked him...not th karma..

  • izzzz on February 10, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    He got angry, he was frank and he even admitted to mistakes. He was proud, confident. He had the will power and self-belief. This man demands respect. He is one of the few Indian cricketers that I respect and love. Indian cricket has been boring ever since he left.

  • izzzz on February 10, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    Everyone should first think of Brian Lara being left out, in the context of the game, this is more worse, but everyone would say he is not an INDIAN and aged, so why care?

    Cricket is for cricket and not for indians, if Lara's ommision has justification, Ganguly's has more justifications than that.

    Clubs mind their businees more than anything else and it is the right thing. Why should a team employ a man who has no experience for about three years?

    Clubs have helped him gathering masses by his side by not including, or even his dearest fans would turn negative if he plays bad.

    I am really amused looking at this article, everyone says IPL is not a big thing, so Sourav should not feel bad for being left out. If IPL is nothing then why articles like this are posted.

    but still i would say ganguly "was" a good cricketer and ganguly fans please allow cricket to be cricket, business to be business

  • sarathy_m2 on February 10, 2011, 9:29 GMT

    Love and respect to Sourav. No one could have done the captain job as Sourav did at those difficult time the team was. Now the time has come to help state team.

  • rrajguru on February 10, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    @shri1966:so many things you have mentioned which clearly indicates that neither you watch cricket seriously nor have adequate knowledge on cricketing news & statistics. 1)you have written he started with sachin... All these things started once sehwag came into the team.i agree he demoted sachin in 2001-02 season because he was not in great form at that time.in the later season 2003-04,he demoted himself down(Look at 2003 world cup).despite himself being in terrific form he batted 1-down. 2) Also you mentioned that he did not win a single match on his own.... He is one of the top 5 MOM award winners in ODIs.Also look at the statistcs(% of hundreds resulting in respective team's WIN/LOSS).Sourav is in top 5(% of hundreds resulting in respective team's WIN) where as Sachin is in the top 3(% of hundreds resulting in respective team's LOSS).Without adebate Sourav is a bigger match winner than sachin in ODIs. 3)No one had a graceful exit in indian cricket except gavaskar.not even Kapil.

  • kmenon2610 on February 10, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    I was there on the 6th or 7th Dec 2003 at the Gabba watching this innings of Ganguly. There are many a time that we as Indians living abroad crave for an Indian team or at least an Indian to stand up and fight in the face of adversity.....if ever there was a knock that answered our prayers...it was Ganguly's 144 this day. It was a sight, especially after Sachin was out and half the crowd was waiting for a follow on to watch Sachin bat again. That innings set the tone for team India for many a season after than...I believe even to this day....it set to tone that we will not go down without a fight. There was arrogance...there was sublime timing....most of all it made us feel proud to be Indian....Ganguly taught Indian teams to stand tall and play......not crouch and hide when targetted....the spirit we see in team India is courtesy Ganguly......India needed an arrogant Captain and he delivered fantastically....Always a Ganguly fan with IPL or without it!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    Nice piece. You can either hate him or love him but you cannot ignore him. He gave Indian cricket its spirit, even if some of the things he did, like making Steve Waugh wait for the toss are in hindsight not great. But once and for all he removed the fear and intimidation of the foreigner which had been haunting Indian cricket for generations. He is the true architect of India"s self belief in itself in the Indian cricket field and thankfully there have been many followers. The IPL is no great shakes, but a lot of aged and aging players have collected their pensions like Hayden, Mcgrath and a few others. Indian cricketers are better off than the rest of the world . Ganguly's example is a case in point for other older cricketers especially from India. Quit when fans are asking "why" and much before they ask "why not". Adieu ganguly you were the ultimate politician and only you could have succeeded to the extent that you did in India. sridhar

  • dashy.sou on February 10, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    @gentlemen -game & Shri1966

    Sachin and Saurav are the best buddy and Saurav is till astonished about sachin achivement even when sachin fails to deliver. Stop posting those imaginary story.Saurav Ganguly is the first captainn of India who backed the players without their religion and geographical grounds..The result is Sehwag, Yuvraj, Dhoni,Harbhajan, Zaheer.I have seen S.Sriram and Sreeshant's excerpts of interview they thanked ganguly's motivational and encouraging words in early days.FYI, he won the three MOM award in last IPL season for KKR. He might not be the best but still he worth a place if Dravid, Laxman and Gilly find.Serious fans of cricket never forget Ganguly and even they more cherish Ganguly's attitude/fighting spirit than Tendulkera as Tendulker is genous ut Ganguly is a good playerand he always come from odds with his gusty approach.

  • ab79 on February 10, 2011, 9:02 GMT

    Brilliant Article Dileep....true that Ganguly had his share of flaws but nobody can question his determination,mental toughness and ability to galvanise a group of talented but directionless individuals....he took over the reins when Indian cricket were in shambles and nobody including Tendulkar were willing to take responsibility...hats of such a great player...always delivered when it was required...As far Shri-1966 and gentlemans-game is concerned, I guess Sourav has silenced men like you time and again....all those talk of ruining careers and egoistic are figments of your imagination...he nurtured so many players who are called greats now..by the way he brought Dhoni in...in the process a few might have been overlooked but thats how it works....its okay if you don't like him but at least be truthful ...lastly in last years IPL he was amongst the 5 top batsmen...isnt he entited to a price hike

  • CSK-FAN on February 10, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    HE DID THE JOB! Doesn't matter how? Either Text book like Dravid or Funny like Dhoni. I guess, IPL Team Owners never came across such a dominant force they found a simple way by showing their back.

  • on February 10, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    @shri1996: India's rise strtd only bcoz there was a guy like dada...India needed a guy of his toughness...his attitude and his determination...now tell me who had the guts to delay the toss that too vs australia?? Bcoz he had the mental toughness, India were able to challenge the opposition...and sachin's demotion to no.4 was bcoz of the form sachin had..due to his dad's death,etc.,Be glad that sachin was'nt out of the team!!If at all there was no DADA>.there was India climbing no.1 spot..We got the belief that we could stand any opposition was only bcoz of dada...he was the only one who made critics search for shelter! Bfore ganguly had come...India was not a respected opposition, but due to arrival of dada, he commanded respect...Anyways he is there to silent the critics anyway...good luck!

  • on February 10, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    One has to understand Cricket to enjoy the finest it has produced and DADA is just that. He never had the Genius of Sachin, Perfection of Dravid, Style of Laxman, Flair of Mohammed Azharuddin and Hand Eye Coordination of Sehwag but he had one very special thing up his armory i.e. COURAGE. If we close our eyes and think what changed the Face Of Indian Cricket, the first thing comes in mind is " DADA swinging his shirt at LORD's Balcony ". As a matter of fact it just gave us (INDIA) the belief and we as a nation announced our arrival on world scene as " Don't Mess With India ".

  • AatifAnwar on February 10, 2011, 8:40 GMT

    HAHAHA what a joke!!! So Dada shud play ipl coz he hit a century at brisbane in 2003? why not bring back W C GRACE or BRADMAN himself? after that test ganguly didnt hit a single century until 2006 against zimbabwe.lets face it.the time of ganguly is over and for good.stop cribbing bout him.he may b a good leader who didnt perform himself.he waived his shirt at lords due to kaif,yuvi and 2001 eden glory was 4 laxman,dravid,bhajji.what happened 2 his leadership at 2003 finals WC? DADA SUCKS

  • Joyron on February 10, 2011, 8:37 GMT

    I met Sourav in 2002 soon after the Indian team had come back from South Africa. Though Ind lost 2-0 in the test series, Sourav's form had been quite exceptional. The one-day series following the tests saw an agrressive side of Sourav never seen before.I remember him telling me how I should watch out for Yuvraj, Zaheer, Harbhajan and Ritender Sodhi. Though Sodhi unfortunately lost out, the other three became superstars of Ind cricket.Interestingly Sourav will never be remembered as merely a batsman, allrounder or even a captain. It is the phenomenon called sourav ganguly that the world would remember. To hell with IPL and the wannabe Abrahamovitchs franchise owners, no matter where he is Ganguly would forever make news! Cheers to the man!

  • on February 10, 2011, 8:36 GMT

    dada will b missed for years to come...some may argue as he is not one of d greatest cricketer of india but def one of d bravest and most courageous leader n player to play for his country...

  • on February 10, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    A brilliant and heart-warming homage to Sourav Ganguly by Dileep Premachandran! After recent media responses replete with jeers and brickbats (read the bits on Sourav in Andrew Hughes' 'Long Handle' on cricinfo.com, and the Hindustan Times editorial calling him the 'Ponce of Kolkata'), Dileep comes up with an outstanding piece which should be a fitting riposte to the rants of Ganguly-loathers. Particularly like the bit in which his century at the Gabba is detailed.

  • UnBiased_True_Cricket_Lover on February 10, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    What an article!!I do feel that Ganguly is the man who showed the aggression needed to counter attack OZ n he deserves gud respect for that.Sangakkara also admitted to the above point.Pity that he is shown the door by IPL bosses.I ALSO FEEL PITY FOR INDIA AS PLAYERS LIKE HARBHAJAN,YUVRAJ HAVE CHANGED THEIR ATTITUDES UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF M S

  • on February 10, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    excellent piece of work..!!

  • sonofchennai on February 10, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    This is Dada's team...Every bit of Dada is absolute class..From his off drives to shirt waving to delaying for th toss...Dada, u rock...and two of his best innings are his century at gabba and near century 98 at Kandy...OFcourse his brutal assualt on England on Day 2 at headingly '02 when he refused the offer to light...

  • on February 10, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Great article on one of the modern day greats. Its sad that some people have started measuring the cricketing stature by IPL contracts offered, which is more of commercial and corporate background than cricketing. One can't take away what has been achieved by international cricketers at international level.

  • Edassery on February 10, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    Excellent article to read... However I am puzzled at the timing of it. I mean, he didn't retire from international cricket this week to write such a tribute.

    The IPL teams don't want him for the reasons that make sense for them. I have been a great fan of Ganguly in terms of his leadership capabilities and not for his batting (great offside player on flat pitches though). But there's not been a better politician in Indian cricket than him... Many times he got his fans to play to his political tunes - not just the Culcutta crowd.

    And by looking at the title, I thought Dileep would do more justice to the article title by adding a few divisions and political scenarios that he has created within the Indian cricket. I was a bit disappointed towards the end.

  • Truemans_Ghost on February 10, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    I remember when he first came to England as a young man. We were hearing reports of him being panned by the Indian press, saying he was only in the team because his Dad owned half of the State- then he got a load of runs and, if I remember rightly quite a few wickets too (I'll need to check back, my memory sometimes inflates feats of the past). He looked a great player. What happened to his bowling? He has 32 test wickets, he must of got 10 of them in that series.

  • Shri1966 on February 10, 2011, 7:51 GMT

    Dear Dileep, You are article is good. But you do not know how many careers of budding cricketers did Saurav spoiled in the bargain. First he played around with Sachin because he was jealous of him, he demoted him to bat at No 4 when Sachin use to regularly open the batting. Thereafter he was overwise with the coach. He has never won a single match single handedly all his victories as a captain were on account of team effort. Also he was harsh with the media people at times. You can compare his attitude with those of Dhoni and Sachin, these people love the game and do not get over exicted with victories, where as Saurav always use to feel himself great, he was very egoistic. The careers of the budding cricketers which he played a spoiled sport with are endless and thus he deserves what he gets. Its his Karma which has thrown him finally out of the game, he should feel ashamed of himself rather than gracefully retiring like Sunil Gavaskar or Kapil he went on taking the board for a ride.

  • on February 10, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    I'm getting goosebumps all over. I am just so proud to have followed this man so closely & so passionately. Dada was the reason I followed the sport. I have no reason to follow it anymore. Love you DADA!!! LOVE YOU PRINCE!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Finally Dileep Premachandran has something nice to say about Ganguly. You were such a virulent critic of him and you adored Greg Chappell. Why the change now Dileep? Anyway better late than never. Saurav is a lionheart!! The IPL is such an insult to a man who was India's Captain - hard to believe that India's Captain can't find a place in a club team!! These guys call themselves Indians??

  • gentlemans-game on February 10, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    Take it down a few notches, Dileep. This is way over the top. There's not much doubt about his cricketing skills - no one gets to become and stay captain without it. And this is true the world over. Nothing special about Ganguly there. " ... ideal leader for the generation that shed India's inferiority complex abroad"? In the 21st century? I thought that happened under Wadekar in '71 against England. If India still has that complex abroad, they need a shrink, not a captain! And finally what gets me about Ganguly is his assumed air of entitlement - evident at different points in his career, and now reflected in his inflated asking price! He gives the impression that he believes he's bigger than the game. Serious fans of cricket have no time for such individuals.

  • Alexk400 on February 10, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    good article.but i hate coward ganguly. He ran away from indian team when he saw green pitch in nagpur. He never let vignesh bat last year IPL to keep his spot. Worst selfish person ever. He should thank rahul dravid for all his wins. Rahul did n't even play well when himself was captain.

  • on February 10, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    No 1 position of Indian team is only due to Saurav "DADA" Ganguly. I saw his 100 in Guwahati in 2006 that enabled him 2 come back 2 the team.... n there were lots of similarities between the Gabba & Guwahati....

  • kapilesh23 on February 10, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    i am indian fan and i am part of the community which really hates ganguly .and i am truly happy that he is not selected for ipl .the more i look at ganguly the more i hate him .and if any one ask the reason why i hate ganguly I have no answer .I don't know why i hate ganguly so much but nobody can deny that he is one of the greatest cricketers of india of all time .his contribution to indian cricket is just immense and i really hate this fact but also accept it .

  • on February 10, 2011, 6:54 GMT

    There is one thing about dada ...You love him or hate him but you cannot ignore him. He has his limitations and excelled purely based on his superb eye,timing .I rate him among one of the top 3 ODI players ever. People who love him are hard core fanatics. he is one of the rare personalities to still be in news and gain attention even after retiring 2 and half years ago.You can say anything about him but no one can deny the fact that dhoni is watering the plant sourav seeded.dada is a visionary and thanks to him we have the most destructive opener in world cricket Mr.Sehwag,thanks to him we have turbonator,thanks to him we have best finisher yuvi. I remember he fought with selectors for all three of them in different times. Hats off dada .!

  • invader5 on February 10, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    Am not from Kolkatta, but always liked the guts of Dada. KKR will never be the same without him. They should have retained him this season & groomed new local talent for the future. Ganguly - Gambhir opening pair would have been terrific. SRK is making decisions in IPL similar to his movies movies in recent years. From a great fan of his during the early years untill Swades (his best ever) am not able to stand him even in TV ads. His judement in movie scripts & IPL seems to be the same. Even a marketing rookie would know that KKR without Ganguly playing in Eden is a disaster. One can expect boos from the crowd if KKR lose badly. Dada always plays with his heart on his sleeve & KKR would have been a very strong team under his captaincy with the backing of the local crowd & the strength of new players like Gambhir & Pathan.. Dada deserves better respect in Indian Cricket & he has a lot of offering as coach/mentor that BCCI should not miss out on..

  • on February 10, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Ganguly may be a sucessful captain, as the stats shows... but he troubled the legends of indian cricket to save his captaincy and place in indian team. He troubled Laxman, kumble, sachin and dravid. Because of this he is hated by most of the indian people inspite of his sucess. He is a big contraversial captain and player. after his exit form indian team, we came to see the best from the indian legends (sachin,dravid,laxman,anil). I feel that ganguly rided his luck, for being a best captain. He wasn't inspiring and he isn't a good learner, he was just luckey. I can give u a reason, ever since akthar had hit him in his ribs with a sintilating bouncer... he was afride of the bouncer which is main reason I think that lead to downfall of his batting. He never tried to improve and play well against his weakness(bouncer). When akthar hit him with bouncer, ganguly have scored 8000+ ODI runs. after that he had played so many ODI's. But see his final batting stats. It wasn't improved.

  • mr82 on February 10, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    I love his lionheart approach...

  • aj_space on February 10, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    Ganguly was THE MAN of Indian cricket. No doudt abt it.

  • SeriouslyKnowsCricket on February 10, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    Excellant Article Dileep! Devotion to Dada is truely incomparable. Those who wee deperate for Test and series wins only know what he has done for India. After him only has India become a normal cricketing nation , who can win test match anywhere. Read a dash of my eulogy to Ganguly at Myrunningtrack.blogspot.com Thanks

  • vipinchaudhary2325 on February 10, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    the quiality player like Ganguly should have had Test Average of around 50-52 easily... but unfortunately after making brilliant start to his carrier in 1996, after 2000 he just did not play like should have played, unfortunately his average was just above 42

  • on February 10, 2011, 6:03 GMT

    Dada is all time great. The IPL Owners are playing money game not cricket. Even do not know anything about cricket or players. they all know to count the coins. They don't know the 'pride of Kolkatta' Sourav !!!!!

  • NAT7 on February 10, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Very well said Dileep...!!! Never will we have such a leader.. a leader that took the totally collapsed Indian team to what it is now.... The one person who showed the world that Indian are really Tigers and could tear apart any fierce side... Dada will always be with all of us.. his spirits always burning in our hearts.. "Players come and they go, but LEGENDS live forever".. and so will our DADA....

  • on February 10, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Very nice article.... You can deny him an IPL contract.... But u cannot deny the fact that he was the man under whom india learned to fight... He met fire with fire... His shirt waving at Lord's balcony was the beginning of a new era...A new India..... Above all he was the King of Comebacks.... Will never forget the 144 he made at Gabba... Kudos to Dileep Premachandran for such a nice article....

  • on February 10, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    brilliantly written article....

  • Jigster on February 10, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    Amazing article.....I have been following Indian cricket for 20 years and the article descrbes the best about Ganguly.He gave the Indian team agression, pride and passion .You feel that there is a lot left in his amazing journey and Bangalore should have gone for Ganguly as there are so many fans over there.It was evident during the India Australia series.Every ganguly fan would feel IPL wont be the same without him and there are a lot of followers of him in India where they are making a lot of viewership and advertisement money. GANGULY SHOULD BE BACK

  • Jigster on February 10, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Amazing article.....I have been following Indian cricket for 20 years and the article descrbes the best about Ganguly.He gave the Indian team agression, pride and passion .You feel that there is a lot left in his amazing journey and Bangalore should have gone for Ganguly as there are so many fans over there.It was evident during the India Australia series.Every ganguly fan would feel IPL wont be the same without him and there are a lot of followers of him in India where they are making a lot of viewership and advertisement money. GANGULY SHOULD BE BACK

  • Muyeen on February 10, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    excellent article on a excellent leader. But i think he was better captain than Mark Taylor. India never used to win abroad before him. I think Dravid and Laxman made a huge difference as a players and their presence made huge difference to Sachin but it was a Ganguly who brought in "change in attitude" which we see in players like Sehwag ,Bhajii etc.. I do no think IPL snub is bad on him bcoz its totally different thing but if all time Indian xi is selected and Ganguly is not the captain I will be sad...

  • DeathRaider on February 10, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    "He's a bastard" was the reply. After a small pause, he added: "But what a magnificent bastard." ...Killer line to end a fabulous article...Dada still rules our hearts ....Wish I could go back again in 2003 and cheer "That" Indian Team which probably was the best Indian Team we could ever have ...

  • Mahita on February 10, 2011, 5:42 GMT

    One can either love Dada or hate him. There is no middle ground with him. I, for one, have admired this Indian icon for as long as I remember, particularly since the team transformed into a side that world HAS TO take note of, under his leadership. Perhaps, there is a new path to be discovered by dada and as usual he would stun everyone of his admirers with his next steps :).

  • on February 10, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    truely agree...every word of this article....IPL is good and entertaining but somewhere down the line I always felt tat its a mere money making machine... everyone makes money out of it...its definitely not for the love of cricket...though very young myself but I do miss the good old days of cricket...guess its lost...would love to be proven wrong though ...

  • vinu31 on February 10, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    Gave Indian cricket an attitude to match the talent, and the belief that India can win matches against anyone. True, he had great talent in his team, but the team he inherited was booted around in Australia and India. Thanks for the good times Ganga man, chuck the damn IPL, you served Indian cricket a hundred times better !

  • Manuindelhi on February 10, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    I am regular reader of cricinfo articles, but registred tody to post my first comment after reading this article on our favourite DADA, Dear Dileep, the writer...though i reads all of your articles a very well written article on ganguly....We are feel so bad that we wont be able to see him in IPL.....i feel it is because of collective politics played by all franchise as you correctly said attention will divert from the owners if Dada is in team...

  • on February 10, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    Dada had been the inspiration. He will be the inspiration forever.

  • on February 10, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    Amazing Man!!! Indian cricket is what it is because of him.....

  • on February 10, 2011, 5:04 GMT

    great player..not in this ipl its ipl's loss anyway they have created ipl to be bigger than everything...the balloon has to burst someday..

  • on February 10, 2011, 5:03 GMT

    DADA The Great...With out DADA ....There no NO 1 Indian Team..DaDa is the founder of Worlds NO 1 india....

  • on February 10, 2011, 5:00 GMT

    Amazing article. Pure truth!

  • Indian_Rules on February 10, 2011, 4:51 GMT

    a really nice article... u r one of the best dada.. no matter what these business minded franchisees feel.. u always will stay on the top

  • KaushCSK on February 10, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Superb Article!! Very well written about a great man!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    Nothing expresses more the admiration of world for Dada than the line quoted by the Kangaroo fan. "He's a bastard", "But what a magnificent bastard."

  • on February 10, 2011, 4:47 GMT

    Really Wonderful article about our DADA....

  • on February 10, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    Ganguly at Brisbane was the proof, if one was ever needed, that he was one of the best to ever play for the country

  • Samar_Singh on February 10, 2011, 4:37 GMT

    Over exaggerated , is this cricinfo or cricindia .... Ganguly a very selfish and arrogant guy and a just above average player ... Since India is a single (could say non sporting ) sporting country and media making more than wanted coverage, game of cricket has been over hyped there ...

  • hunnysharma on February 10, 2011, 4:24 GMT

    the endline said it all.....he was born to prove his crtics wrong, i am sure had he been given a chance in IPL, we would have seen him as one of the highest run getters, a legend, hats off to his spirit and never say die attitude..........

  • on February 10, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    awesome article ,yes he is a bastard but a magnificent bastard indeed!!

  • on February 10, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Dada is a good player no doubt but he brings politics into cricket. I belives he spoils VVS Laxman's career even if after played a series win 107 against Pakistan in Pakistan.He also spoils Laxman's WORLD CUP hope in the year 2003.

  • on February 10, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    By far the most lethargic and unprofessional cricketer ever. Even his ritirement series was self indulgent(and rightly upstaged by the classy maner in which Kumble called it quits mid series). Will never forget that he bowled his so called medium pace against Kenya in the 2003 semi finals , and then chickened out of bowling in the final against Australia when they were hammering us all over the place. His Success as captain was because of 1 reason: Rahul Dravid

  • maxr on February 10, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    Although im not big fan of his test batting..Im a huge fan of his aura.. and his urge to win..

  • Sachin-all_time_hero on February 10, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    What a superb article!... I want SR to read this article to know abt this gr8 man..

  • on February 10, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    A true Fighter to the core. Its sad to see the man who transformed the attitude of the Indian team almost singlehandedly, to be outsted from IPL in such a way. Team India was never devoid of talents, but the attitude of world beaters was implanted by him... We still love him and has enormous respect for his never say die spirit. And let me say with Dada, u can never say he is over. Still hoping to see him,... Do remember, whenever its thought he's done and dusted, he will come back.

  • on February 10, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Thanks Dileep for such a beautiful article. I am one of the ardent fan of DADA. May be ppl today don't realize his effort made by him to get TEAM INDIA to what they are today, but atlest in the hearts of his fan he always is the most prolific player we have ever seen. I have no fav. cricket player till date from lat 15 years except for dada. Thanks for bringing back all the memories with this man. Thanks

  • Nadeem1976 on February 10, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    He was such a great captain for India, after depressing 90's and Ahurudin defensive captaincy, this guy in 2000's was life changer for BCCI. No body knew that India can acheive great things in test cricket but with his captaincy india showed that world that they can beat any team on any soil in the world. He also reached WC final but did not win it becuase of McGrath great delivery to Sachin and Ponting too good innings. It was huge ask to acheive.

    However Dhoni is luckiest man or earth, he is eating what Dada started and now india is #1 team becuase of Dada. Salute to Dada to make a moderate team to a worldclass team. Job well done.

  • gestapo on February 10, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    beautifully written,,very insightful and being an ardent dada fan,,i enjoyed it thoroughly,,and rightly said,with ganguly,,its either love him or hate him,,there are no in betweens and v ganguly fans will always love him.

  • on February 10, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    He showed emotion. He got angry, he was frank and he even admitted to mistakes. He was proud, confident. He had the will power and self-belief. This man demands respect. He is one of the few Indian cricketers that I respect and love. Indian cricket has been boring ever since he left.

  • nlambda on February 10, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    Saurav was India's finest captain and would have unambiguously remained so had he stepped down in 2005. His batting form unfortunately declined (I still remember: 48 in 5 outs over 3 tests and 33 in 4 ODIs against Pak) which also affected his batting. I cannot forget the poor captaincy on day 4 & 5 of that series' Delhi test, nor his completely demoralized reaction to getting out bowled by Afridi on day 5 in Bangalore. The right thing to do then was to relinquish the captaincy and focus 100% on his batting but alas...

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  • nlambda on February 10, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    Saurav was India's finest captain and would have unambiguously remained so had he stepped down in 2005. His batting form unfortunately declined (I still remember: 48 in 5 outs over 3 tests and 33 in 4 ODIs against Pak) which also affected his batting. I cannot forget the poor captaincy on day 4 & 5 of that series' Delhi test, nor his completely demoralized reaction to getting out bowled by Afridi on day 5 in Bangalore. The right thing to do then was to relinquish the captaincy and focus 100% on his batting but alas...

  • on February 10, 2011, 3:24 GMT

    He showed emotion. He got angry, he was frank and he even admitted to mistakes. He was proud, confident. He had the will power and self-belief. This man demands respect. He is one of the few Indian cricketers that I respect and love. Indian cricket has been boring ever since he left.

  • gestapo on February 10, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    beautifully written,,very insightful and being an ardent dada fan,,i enjoyed it thoroughly,,and rightly said,with ganguly,,its either love him or hate him,,there are no in betweens and v ganguly fans will always love him.

  • Nadeem1976 on February 10, 2011, 3:29 GMT

    He was such a great captain for India, after depressing 90's and Ahurudin defensive captaincy, this guy in 2000's was life changer for BCCI. No body knew that India can acheive great things in test cricket but with his captaincy india showed that world that they can beat any team on any soil in the world. He also reached WC final but did not win it becuase of McGrath great delivery to Sachin and Ponting too good innings. It was huge ask to acheive.

    However Dhoni is luckiest man or earth, he is eating what Dada started and now india is #1 team becuase of Dada. Salute to Dada to make a moderate team to a worldclass team. Job well done.

  • on February 10, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Thanks Dileep for such a beautiful article. I am one of the ardent fan of DADA. May be ppl today don't realize his effort made by him to get TEAM INDIA to what they are today, but atlest in the hearts of his fan he always is the most prolific player we have ever seen. I have no fav. cricket player till date from lat 15 years except for dada. Thanks for bringing back all the memories with this man. Thanks

  • on February 10, 2011, 3:50 GMT

    A true Fighter to the core. Its sad to see the man who transformed the attitude of the Indian team almost singlehandedly, to be outsted from IPL in such a way. Team India was never devoid of talents, but the attitude of world beaters was implanted by him... We still love him and has enormous respect for his never say die spirit. And let me say with Dada, u can never say he is over. Still hoping to see him,... Do remember, whenever its thought he's done and dusted, he will come back.

  • Sachin-all_time_hero on February 10, 2011, 4:00 GMT

    What a superb article!... I want SR to read this article to know abt this gr8 man..

  • maxr on February 10, 2011, 4:02 GMT

    Although im not big fan of his test batting..Im a huge fan of his aura.. and his urge to win..

  • on February 10, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    By far the most lethargic and unprofessional cricketer ever. Even his ritirement series was self indulgent(and rightly upstaged by the classy maner in which Kumble called it quits mid series). Will never forget that he bowled his so called medium pace against Kenya in the 2003 semi finals , and then chickened out of bowling in the final against Australia when they were hammering us all over the place. His Success as captain was because of 1 reason: Rahul Dravid

  • on February 10, 2011, 4:11 GMT

    Dada is a good player no doubt but he brings politics into cricket. I belives he spoils VVS Laxman's career even if after played a series win 107 against Pakistan in Pakistan.He also spoils Laxman's WORLD CUP hope in the year 2003.