Rakshit's Place

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sourav Ganguly- Truths and Facts (Part-2)

Referring to my earlier post on Winning 11, I now hereby proceed further starting with Sourav Ganguly, my first choice cricketer.

Let’s have a look to some of the comments by few great men.

“The Prince of Calcutta”
-Geoffrey Boycott

“Sourav is a great captain and we should be proud of such a leader”
- Kapil Dev

“A great captain who is hungry for success and is also an extremely competitive world class performer”
-Carl Hooper

“Sourav’s greatest strength is his mind”
-Sachin Tendulkar

“I saw in Sourav a committed individual who wanted to inject some toughness and combativeness into a side that had often tended in the past to roll over and expose a soft underbelly”
-Steve Waugh

“On the off-side, first there is God, then there is Ganguly”
-Rahul Dravid

The story of Sourav Ganguly, the former skipper of the Indian cricket team, is one full of twists and turns, in fact it has all the ingredients of a well-made potboiler.
Blessed with tremendous intelligence, he channelized it into everything: be it teaching a lesson to all those who dared to complain against him to his mother or pick up the finer points of every sport that he ever experimented in. Prodigiously talented, it is his dedication to the game coupled with a never-say-die spirit that has earned him an enviable position in the world of cricket.


Sourav Chandidas Ganguly was born on July 8, 1973 into a sports-loving family. He was also born into immense wealth. His father, Chandidas Ganguly who would go onto to be the treasurer and secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) ran a flourishing printing business that helped make the family one of the richest in Kolkata.
Few Indian cricketers outside royalty have been born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth as Ganguly was.

There are 22 bedrooms in his house, and the family possesses over 20 cars. With finances no problem, the father was able to provide an indoor multi-gym and concrete wicket at home for his sons. They would also watch cricket videos, particularly those of their idol and fellow left-hander David Gower.

Stepping in to the Cricketing arena

Initially Ganguly was not allowed to play cricket because his parents wanted him to focus on his studies. Sourav followed his elder brother Snehasish (an accomplished left handed batsman for Bengal and East Zone) and started playing. During his holidays, Sourav asked his father to get him enrolled in a cricket academy as he was finding difficult to pass his time.

Shortly after his first century for the Bengal under-15 team against Orissa in Calcutta, he was selected to the captaincy of the prestigious St. Xavier’s School. The tradition at the school had been to pick the captain by consensus. However this time Sourav was an excellent choice. Some of the other boys objected, claiming he was arrogant. But when the topic was raised before the Principal, Father Bouche his immediate reaction was “of course it has to be Ganguly.”


A hundred (121) for East Zone against West Zone in the Duleep Trophy in 1991 earned Sourav a place on the tour of Australia in 1991-92. He was played in only one One-day International match and was then forgotten for over four years. He thought that his career as an international cricketer was over as he was ridiculed as a non-talent, and it was alleged that he had 'attitude problems'. They said he refused to carry drinks for his teammates, he was too high-headed and arrogant, he behaved like a Maharaja, an emperor. None of it was true, says Sourav. But the labels stuck, and Sourav was a forgotten man.

This is what Sunil Gavaskar (who has since become one of Ganguly’s most ardent supporters) wrote in his syndicated column that appeared in the Indian media on January 22, 1992: “…within the team he seems to be an object of fun because of his reluctance to perform his chores as the reserve player. No wonder he has been nicknamed “maharaja” since he leaves the menial jobs like carrying drinks on others while he sits watching them do it.”

Its Late than Never

Sourav was chosen to tour England with the Indian team in 1996. Navjot Singh Sidhu, his
roommate on the tour, chose to walk out of the team after a misunderstanding with captain Azharuddin, while Sanjay Manjrekar was injured. Sourav thus got a chance to make his Test debut. The second Test at Lords witnessed Ganguly blasting a superb century with some help from an English rugby team sports psychologist.


He is married to Dona, who was a next-door neighbor to the Ganguly family. Their fathers were once friends but the relationship was strained and the young couple got married under cover.

His first love

'Football' was Sourav's first love. He played for his school football team for four years.

His Secret

The first thing Sourav does after he checks into a hotel room is to place the portrait of goddess Kali and the picture of his wife Dona on his bed side table.

Another major event that occurred in his life was the spat with Coach Greg Chappel and subsequently Chappel’s leaked e-mail to BCCI that further exaggerated the issue. After the Zimbabwe tour Chappel described Ganguly saying "Sourav falls well below the acceptable level in all areas”.
Download full Chappel Mail.

If you have any other untold truths and facts about Ganguly do share that with us.

Hope, you like this article.

Next edition will be on Sachin Tendulkar…

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