After reading the headline of the piece, do you really need an introduction about the Prince? Many regard him as the greatest captain of Indian cricket and he still rules hearts of millions. Yes, we are talking about India’s legendary batsman Sourav Ganguly, fondly known as Dada.
Every now and then comes a cricketer who changes the look of the game. When it comes to Indian cricket, Sourav Ganguly is one name that transformed the way the world looked at the Indian team. A few people are born leaders and Ganguly is surely one of them. While MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli may hog the limelights for India’s performances in World Cups, but it is this man who built a steadfast foundation of the team. Sourav Ganguly will be remembered for his stylish cricketing chic and massive contribution to cricket in India in a career straddling around 15 long years.
Date of Birth
July 8, 1972
Behala, Kolkata, West Bengal
Five feet eleven inches
Right-arm medium fast
Teams Played for
India, Bengal, Lancashire, Glamorgan, Northamptonshire, Kolkata Knight Riders, Pune Warriors India
Sourav Ganguly Biography
Chandidas and Nirupa Ganguly got their second child after Snehashish Ganguly on July 8, 1972. The child was named Sourav. His father ran a successful print business. By default, football was famous in Bengal and Sourav naturally started playing football. His parents didn’t want him to take up any sport for a career due to academics. But his elder brother Snehashish was a cricketer for Bengal and helped his brother to build a career in cricket. He joined a cricket academy where his batting talent was acknowledged. From there, he never looked back.
He was making mark in domestic and college level tournaments. He became the captain of St Xavier School’s cricket team. Sourav grabbed the attention of selectors and his hard work paid off. Ganguly was selected to play for the Bengal team in 1989. On the other side, his brother was dropped from the side in the same year. The left-hander came to the spotlight after an imposing show in the Ranji Trophy during 1990-91 season.
Ganguly made his international debut in 1992. It wasn’t the ideal start as he scored meagre 3 runs against the West Indies at the Gabba, Brisbane. Just after one game, he lost his place from the side and the reason was: he reportedly refused to carry the drinks for the players as he believed that it wasn’t his job. However, Ganguly still denies any such incidents. It was the time when he went back to domestic cricket and worked firm. The left-hander was a spectacular run maker in the Ranji seasons of 93, 94 and 95 consecutively.
His knock of 171 in the 1995-96 Duleep Trophy, brought him back to the squad. Ganguly got an opportunity to make his Test debut. In the second Test of the England tour that was played at the Lord’s London, he played for the national side for the first time in the whites. In the same game, Rahul Dravid made a debut too. Ganguly scored 131 and that put him on the world map.
Era of captaincy
India flourished under the leadership of Dada for many years. The country won the Natwest tri-series in England by defeating the hosts in the final. The memories of Ganguly waving his shirt on the Lord’s balcony aren’t still fresh? In 2003, India reached the final of the World Cup. Ganguly scored 465 runs at an average of 58.12 with three tons. India won numerous big series under him and the golden era of Indian cricket took place as the side started winning outside India.
The Chappell tale
Former Australian Greg Chappell became the head coach of Indian side in 2005. There were reports of rifts between him and Ganguly. Chappell sent an email to board uttering that Ganguly was ‘physically and mentally’ unhealthy to lead the side and that his ‘divide and rule’ was destructive the Indian team. BCCI tried to intervene and endeavored to bring the duo together to work. But due to a poor run and disputes with the coach, Ganguly was removed from the captaincy.
Sourav Ganguly was one of the legendary players in the debut season of the Indian Premier League in 2008. He captained the Kolkata Knight Riders side but the franchise didn’t do too well in the first stint. Dada returned as the captain in 2010 but after the club failed to do well again. He was signed by the new franchise Pune Warriors India in 2011. He played for Pune for two seasons.
After retirement from international cricket, Sourav Ganguly has been active in the development of the game. The 46-year-old co-mentored the IPL side Delhi Capitals to the play-offs in 2019. He is often does commentary and appears on many television shows. Currently, Dada ws appointed as one of the members of commentary panel for ICC World Cup. He was the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal as well.
From Kolkata’s Prince to Indian Cricket’s King
On 23rd October 2019, Sourav Ganguly was sworn in as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India. He became the 39th BCCI Chief as a result. He succeeded the Committee of Administrators (CoA), which was in-charge for 33 months. Ganguly was unanimously elected as the president. In office, the ex-captain’s immediate challenge will be to separate cricket from political interference.
And he doesn’t have time on his side with the tenure running only for 10 months. The new BCCI rule stops anyone from serving either in the board or its state units for over six years successively. Ganguly ha already served more than five years at the Cricket Association of Bengal.
Lesser known facts
- Dada was given the title ‘Prince of Calcutta’ by the former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott.
- He started batting left handed so that he could inherit his elder brother.
- Sourav Ganguly had an indoor multi-gym and a concrete wicket built at their home.
- As per some reports, Sourav is a deeply religious person and observes a fast every Tuesday.
- There is a housing complex in Kolkata, that has been named after Sourav. It is called the ‘Sourav Housing Complex’.
- A 1.5 km road in Rajarhat in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal is named after him.
Records and achievements
- Sourav Ganguly is the only cricketer to win four successive Man of the Match awards in One Day Internationals.
- He is the eighth highest run-scorer in ODI and second among the Indians, with 11,363 runs.
- He holds the record for the highest individual score by any batsman in an ICC Champions Trophy fina l(117).
- Dada was also the first player to score three tons in the history of ICC Champions Trophy
- His Test batting average never went below 40.
- Ganguly is the first batsman in the world to score a century on debut and to be dismissed first ball in his final Test innings.
- He is Padma Shri awardee.
- Ganguly was awarded with the Banga Bibhushan Award from the Government of West Bengal in 2013.
Saurav Ganguly Net worth
The most influential captain of all time is one of the richest Indian cricketers. According to reports, his net worth is around Rs 99 crore. His remuneration from the BCCI was valued at around Rs 5 crore whereas his endorsements earn him Rs 2 crore. Talking about his property, Dada owns five luxurious cars worth Rs 7 crore and has personal properties of around Rs 45 crore.
In 1997, Ganguly faced strong opposition by family not to marry his wife, Dona Roy. After counteracting the strong opposition, he got married in February 1997 after England tour. Dona is Ganguly’s childhood lover and friend. Their daughter, Sana Ganguly was born in 2001.
Ganguly is the gem of our country and brought, youthfulness and assertiveness to Indian cricket team. He was the man who always listened to his heart and act accordingly. One word to say, other players played cricket but Dada lived it.