Sourav Chandidas Ganguly, the current president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India deserves every bit of respect he receives now. Popularly known as ‘Dada’, this former Indian captain has dedicated his life and career for Indian cricket’s sake. Right from his debut in 1992 till his retirement in 2008, dada scored 16 tests and 22 ODI centuries.
But these numbers don’t speak a lot about his real contribution as a cricketer. His recent significant contribution is getting the pink ball test format to India.
Following are the top 5 contributions of Sourav Ganguly towards Indian cricket –
1) Defending his team post the match-fixing period –
2000’s match-fixing episode resulted in the lowest point of Indian cricket where majority fans had stopped watching and showed disinterest in the game. The team was going through criticism and this had a heavy impact on the players’
In such tough times, this Kolkata based batsman not only faced every scrutinizing comment but also cleared all doubts. He promised a revamp in Indian cricket and stuck to his words every moment. Dada bought back the lost respect and viewership by playing disciplined cricket.
2) He prepared the next generation of cricketers –
Mr. Ganguly invested a lot of effort into securing the future of Indian cricket. His strategy of grooming the next band well beforehand helped India find superstars like Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj, Zaheer Khan, and so many others. Nobody can deny Sourav’s indirect contribution in winning the 2011 World Cup where these players performed like champions.
3) Aggressive cricket-
The left-handed opener was one of the first Indian players to believe in an aggressive brand of cricket. He preferred attacking the opponent bowlers and supported his players to do the same. He was the first Indian captain to license sledding and raw aggression on the field. It is his footsteps that the current Indian skipper, Virat Kohli walks on.
4) Winning overseas –
Winning an overseas tie was a tough job for the Indian players who seemed to be heavily dominated by the hosts. Remember the NatWest tri-series final, when India thumped the mighty English side. The win became memorable when Ganguly took off his shirt to celebrate in the Lord’s balcony.
Who forgets India’s innings victory at Headingley, a win against Australia at Adelaide and the series win over Pakistan in 2004. The prince of Kolkata set a high bar for upcoming captains when he managed to draw positive results overseas.
5) India’s first D/N Test at Kolkata –
Even after his retirement from all forms of cricket, dada hasn’t stopped contributing towards the betterment of the game. As the president of the BCCI, he organized India’s first D/N test match at Kolkata in 2019. India won the match comfortably as the pink ball match saw crowded stands which are a rare sight in test cricket. If it wasn’t Sourav’s efforts in arranging every minute resource in time, India wouldn’t have seen this historic moment so soon. This is a great and very well planned move towards the resurgence of test cricket in India.