June, 1996: India are in the middle of a tough England tour. Up against a hostile pace attack in testing conditions, two young batsmen were called up into the side. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid marked the start of a golden era and an upward surge for Indian cricket.Early 2000: India were reeling from crushing defeats in Australia down under and against South Africa at home. Enter Ganguly. A few months later, India reach the final of the ICC Knockout Tournament. In 2001, India stop Australia’s record-breaking winning streak in Test cricket and finally in 2003, the Men in Blue stormed into the final of the World Cup only to lose to Australia.Dada, as Ganguly is popularly known in cricket circles, brought the curtain down on his illustrious career in 2008 but not before firmly defining how India would play the game in the time to come.He brought about a rapid transition in the team. He wanted his men to be world-beaters and he did not take a step back on the field. The Aussies were paid back in their own terms, younger players were encouraged to go out and blossom while the seniors felt safe knowing they were being led by a fair and honest man.Years after his retirement, Ganguly continues to play an important role in Indian cricket. The former captain, as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), has worked wonders at the Eden Gardens.WATCH VIDEOPakistan were scheduled to play India in Dharamsala at the World T20 last year. Political compulsions forced the game to be shifted out and Eden Gardens put its hand up. Ganguly was more than happy to host the high-profile game and it went smoothly without incident.advertisementIndia returned to play a Test match at the venue against New Zealand and the trueness of the surface left even the visitors pleasantly surprised. There was pace, movement and bounce for the pacers while the batsmen found they could get runs if they spent enough time in the middle.Ganguly now, of course, plays an even more critical role. As part of the cricket advisory committee (CAC), he was responsible for selecting Anil Kumble as India coach last year. A leader by nature, Ganguly has been sought after by the BCCI’s mandarins in complex administrative issues.Ganguly is once again in focus along with Tendulkar and Laxman as the CAC seeks to appoint Kumble’s successor. It cannot be an easy task – dealing with the frail egos of cricket stars and officials. The Kohli – Kumble rift had left a bad taste in the mouth and Ganguly was convinced the powers-that-be could have handled it better.With so much already on his plate, he became the only cricketer to be named in a seven-member committee appointed by the BCCI to study the critical points in the implementatio nof the Lodha Panel.Ganguly, Captain Courageous, master tactician, ace commentator is now soon turning into a seasoned administrator. One man, many sides. What a player.
sqzjixls November 19, 2019 admin