Sourav Ganguly, the captain credited for putting fire within the belly of Indian cricket, celebrates his 48th birthday today.
‘Dada who is known for his legacy, ‘God of the Off-Side’, ‘King of Comebacks’ — Ganguly has been christened with multiple nicknames by cricket fans, experts and team-mates alike through his playing career.
Ganguly took over India’s captaincy after the match-fixing fiasco in 2000 and proved to be a pacesetter who believed in youth and putting them within the line of fireside to get the best out of them. Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Mohammad Kaif et al. are all such examples from that era.
His call to ask Sehwag to open the batting in Tests changed Sehwag’s career and had a fantastic impact on Indian cricket. Ganguly was also the one who asked Rahul Dravid to wear the wicket-keepers’ gloves, at a time when India were struggling to seek out a permanent keeper.
‘Dada’ remains India’s second highest run-scorer in ODIs, with a tally of 11,363 runs at a mean of 41.02, which incorporates 22 hundreds and 72 half-centuries.
After retiring from the game in 2008, Ganguly chose to give back to the game that made him one of the icons of world cricket.
Having served because the president of Cricket Association of Bengal, Ganguly was elected because the current president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
On the other hand apart from featuring in 311 ODIs, Ganguly played 113 Tests, scoring 7212 runs with 16 centuries and 35 fifties. He never played T20 international cricket.