The Mortal called “Sourav Ganguly”
By : Amitabh Banerjee
Sourav Ganguly’s supporters would immediately say “Hey! We already know that Ganguly was a great player and an even better Captain”, and the few not-so-great-fans would argue, “There were others who were greater as a player, and just as good, if not better, as a Captain!” But then I speak here of someone else, I speak of Ganguly the man, the mortal!
He took up the reins during the greatest catastrophe witnessed by Indian Cricket, the match-fixing scandal, and transformed the team into an army so compulsive, that even if they couldn’t win every single battle, they died trying.
I haven’t seen that spirit in the Indian team in a long time now. Our matches have become more one-sided with either the team winning by big margins or losing pathetically. For me, now cricket has more or less become just another sport, nothing of the old pride or patriotism associated with it, and perhaps all this just due to that missing never-say-die spirit.
Like most other Indians, I loved those lofty sixes which Ganguly hit with the stance of a tiger. I loved his batting, which was a force to reckon with, prior to becoming the Captain that declined with his taking the reins of the team, which just goes to show he was as vulnerable as any other to handling the additional pressure of captaincy along with batting. But can we complain? Even the batting maestro Tendulkar could never handle the pressure of captaincy, and we still call him God ignoring his failures as a Captain.
Ganguly never was god, for gods can’t lead. The mantle had to be taken up by a mortal, one from amongst us, and that’s just what earned him the title of Dada.
Here we talk of a person who gave up a much better batting record, that he could have finished his career with, to lead the team. Isn’t that just what we expect from a Captain? Isn’t that just what we expect from a Leader?
Coming to the present, what looms over the Indian Cricket is just a nightmare compared to the catastrophes seen in the past and I have no doubts what we need here as well, is a real leader, a Dada at the helm, as a coach perhaps!
There have been many who stood against the fierce blows of bowlers and delivered, but it was a mortal Dada who stood firm even after taking the severest blows of life. So I will look up to a certain god when it comes to cricket, but to learn the ways of life, to inspire, to motivate, and to stand firm against the storms of life, I look no further than a mortal called Sourav Ganguly!
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