As I start writing this article, Bengal has won the 2012 Vijay Hazare Trophy under the captain-ship of Sourav Ganguly. Bengal played well throughout the tournament and capped it off with another superb win by 6 wickets against Mumbai. Personally, this has not been a very successful tournament for Sourav Ganguly with the bat scoring only 91 runs in 6 innings, but never judge the man with these figures, look at the overall picture.
Going back to December 9, 2011..
Bengal was on the verge of relegation in the Ranji Trophy and had lost dismally to Tamil Nadu. Two games were remaining, and Bengal had to win at-least one and gain the first innings lead in another to avoid relegation. CAB appointed Sourav Ganguly as the full time captain of Bengal, and boy, did he change the team’s performance!
Bengal came from a very tough situation to gain the first innings lead against Delhi & then went to Baroda to beat the local team and avoid relegation. Sourav Ganguly scored handsomely in both the games! However, as Bengal lost a wicket in the final moments of the final game, that they could not gain an extra bonus point and hence, lost out on the qualifying in the Knock-out stages. What a turn around it was, magical, surreal… yet you knew, with Sourav Ganguly, this is very common.
And now the same bunch of boys, and the champions of the Vijay Hazare Trophy under Ganguly. What a transformation, from a team at the bottom to a champion team in less than 2-3 months is nothing short of legendary, and this is Sourav Ganguly.
Some say, why is he still playing Ranji Cricket, why is he still blocking the place of a junior cricketer, well this is your reason! Just look at Anustup Mazumder, not even in the fray for Bengal selections, Sourav Ganguly suddenly gives him a chance in the final Ranji game against Baroda and he has never looked back since.. he bagged himself an IPL contract with Pune Warriors! Look at Dinda today, or at Wriddhaman Saha; even the small changes in the team like M.Sami, Sourav Sarkar, Lahiry, Goswami …Sourav Ganguly has been the perfect captain and motivator that one can be.
I can understand if you say he is blocking the place of a youngster to Rahul Dravid if he played Ranji cricket, cause he is never a good motivator of the team, same for many other greats. But when you talk about India’s best captain Sourav Ganguly, he will always be an asset for whichever team he plays at whatever age!
And the one thing that eluded him so far was to win a trophy with Bengal, and he did it now, at the age of 39. Inspiring the Bengal team from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs!
And this is the reason, almost every player from Bengal is ready to jump on the bandwagon & play under Sourav Ganguly in the IPL for Pune Warriors and not the so called team from Kolkata, the Knight Riders. Even the people of Bengal & Kolkata understand and realize who truly represent their state and city and bring glory in the name of the state or Kolkata and who just come once in a year for a month, makes some money and then forgets Kolkata.
So, fans, Kolkatans & everyone else, get ready for IPL 5 & Pune Warriors, and remember never to say Sourav Ganguly can’t do this or that, else, like this win in the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the age of 39 and his numerous comebacks till date, he will make sure you are proven wrong. Cheers to DADAGIRI.. What a SUPERSTAR!