Goodbye Sourav

95 Comments

Goodbye Sourav Ganguly.

It hurts me to say this. You still had it in you—I would not have said this a few months ago with such certainty. But you showed heart and fight in the Pakistan series despite all odds. You refused to make inflammatory press statements at a time your opponents were trying their best to rub your nose in the ground—instead choosing to let your performances speak. You, the quintessential arrogant man, even pleaded to be allowed to play.

Yes, that’s how much the game meant to you. And your two fighting innings in the last Test amply demonstrated that your cricketing abilities have also not atrophied away.

And while those arrayed against you (a middle-finger-swollen coach who demands absolute authority, tolerates nothing but the presence of only yes-men in his presence and begrudges your wallet and a pathetic ex-wicketkeeper whose shriveling existence on this earth is only justified by how many careers he can destroy and how much of his weight he can throw about as a man of authority), have taken to spreading canards about how much money you made as a captain (not proven) , how you browbeat the last coach into submission (denied by John Wright), and how you faked injury (again disproved)—-you have maintained a dignified silence. Which has raised your stock– a stock that had so spectacularly fallen in the last few years.

Yes we have to accept. It had fallen.

For that however you were to blame. You let your game stagnate. While you were once a more valuable player than Dravid, things slowly turned around. Dravid worked ceaselessly to improve his game (playing with soft hands, rotating the strike, hardening his technique) and in the process scaled new heights of batsmanship.

You however just turned your back on your problems. With the result that bowlers all over were able to consistently “pattern” you out—so much so that it became positively embarrassing for fans like us to justify your presence on the basis of performance.

But then you fought back. Just like the time you first came into international cricket. You were too raw then. You deserved to be dropped. And then when the time came at Lords 1996, you were ready. Just like you are now. However your enemies (and you have a huge number of them) are not going to let you come back—simply because they cannot afford you embarrassing them with a performance; like you did to those naysayers (Ravi Shastri et al) who called you a “regional selection” in 1996.

A word of advice. Be wary of your friends/supporters. When a Bengal minister calls your dropping a slap against the state of Bengal, do not endorse that. Because by doing so, you play right into the hands of people like Pawar, More and Cricinfo whose spin works on showing that Sourav Ganguly is a has-been noone wants except Bengalis.

While I have argued before that anti-Gangulyism is often a surrogate for anti-Bengalism in a mixed company of Indians watching cricket, the current situation has got little to do with that. Chappell only sees an insolent Indian who has got far more money than he deserves —and not the fact that Sourav Ganguly loves rosogolla. Sharad Pawar wants Ganguly’s career finished only because he is beholden to certain boards who want their player in a position of power. Simple as that.

Instead of needlessly beating the Bengali angle, it is worth making the point that the way you have been treated is a slap on the face of all cricketers who have contributed significantly to the Indian cricket ethos—and let me add that a few people in the team who may be smiling at the dissolution of a possible power center, should do well to remember: this might very well happen to them, given a different political configuration at the board.

No matter what the future brings, I can say that you have left as the moral victor, keeping intact your legacy –something a hundred Chappells, a hundred disgruntled reporters and their hundreds of unsubstantiated allegations cannot diminish.

You brought in a new age of competitiveness in the team, rescued it from the morass of match-fixing and mined true diamonds from the rough—a Bhajji, a Sehwag, a Dhoni, a Yuvraj.

People remember that. And so at your time of peril, Bhajji comes out in your support (getting a reprimand from the board) and so does Yuvraj—speaking out for you selflessly despite knowing that he works in a team where the coach has a visceral hatred for you and the present captain is glad to see you leave.

You leave behind a team much stronger than what it was when you arrived. Your place as a player will be taken by Yuvraj Singh, whose offside play and swagger makes him temperamentally your ideal successor with the potential to be another legendary leader.

Your place as a captain will be taken by Rahul Dravid, a great batsman and going by his recent record, hard-as-nails and as crafty as they come. Which is heartening because I always mistakenly thought that Dravid was too much of a nice guy to be a captain.

As for us fans, we shall always have fond memories of your sublime off-side glides, your towering sixes, your pedestrian running-between-the-wickets, your embarrassing fielding, your never-say-die attitude, your totally unparochial approach to man-management and your bare torso on the Lords balcony as you waved your shirt over your head like a helicopter showing the world that we Indians, from now on, shall give as good as we receive.

In conclusion, I sincerely wish that you will be back for a last hurray but my mind tells me otherwise. And somehow your departure like this is much more poetic– the most apposite way for a person like you to exit the battle is feet first— solitary in your glory.

As for the others—they can gallop into the sunset when their time comes.

But that is not for you.

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95 thoughts on “Goodbye Sourav

  1. I gave up on Indian cricket after the match fixing scandal. It is sad to see the most popular sport in India controlled and run by dumb-ass politicians and failed businessmen.

  2. Yes, the boat had sailed when Ganguly had the infamous spat with Chappell and then Jaggu lost the elections. I could hear the death knell. The board should have had the guts to square things with Ganguly. Instead of giving him the impression that if he made runs he would be selected in the next test match, they should have told him clearly that they were not considering him any further (something More recently hinted at when the team for the English series was selected). That much he certainly deserved. The worst that could have happened would have been that More & Co would have been pelted with rotten eggs in Calcutta. But the BCCI is such a spineless bunch of has-beens that such a step would have been unthinkable. Most of the problems in Indian cricket is due to their inability to think logically and with vision.

    I shall miss Dada’s passion. No one in the current Indian team (barring some of the newcomers) has the passion that dada exuded.

    May his legacy live forever.

    On a related topic, did you ever dine at ‘Souravs’? Any idea how good it is?

  3. Taliban would have been proud to do a BCCI ! I am hard pressed to recall an incident where somebody has been reprimanded for praising a former colleague.
    Why should failed businessmen not run cricket ? The more I look at it, the more I am convinced that cricket is no more than an entertainment indusrty.

  4. This was a nice post GB. I do disagree with one point, about Pawar wanting to end Saurav’s career. I have seen this attitude about bashing up politicians when they hold positions of power in places such as these. But Pawar has been extremely careful about doing the right things until now. He has talked out any issues, including ones with Ganguly, with the right people in the cricketing world. He talked with Ganguly before the Pakistan tour, as he did with Tendulkar, trying to understand the situation. Even in the recent blunder by Chappel (yes it was a blunder and yet everyone must remember Ganguly started the episode of talking out to the press), he has taken the right stand and reprimanded the coach through the board.

    Of course, it would have been great if we had an actual test cricketer as the head of the board, but honestly, thats not going to happen. Anyone else who occupied this post earlier has essentially been just as political as Pawar, even though his predecessors may not be active politicians. So why oppose Pawar? Why does he become the bad guy, when he is doing the right thing. Just because he is also a politician? Lets all get this straight… one way or the other, we are going to have a politician (and I consider Dalmiya and anyone in his crony-camp as one) out there, so why not have one who is doing the right thing?

    I did appreciate a lot of other points in your post. Saurav deserves more, really. In fact, I was opposed to him after the Zimbabwe episode, but he fought back, and his innings in Pakistan was really a good one. Unfortunately, he has only himself to blame for this, for he got out by playing rash shots and ended up with scores in the 40s. Just imagine, if had carried on there, and made scores of 75 or more, not even his worst enemies would have been able to touch him. The issue is not about him playing better than the others in the last test in Pakistan. By that logic, everyone else has been playing better than him in the last two years! The issue was that his performance was on the line, he was competing for a place in the team, with Yuvraj and he just did not do better than Yuvraj.

    People who make angry noises about including Jaffer and Gambhir in the team should realize that they are actually insulting Ganguly by doing that. That is exactly what Ganguly has so successfully done with many good players; he has cultivated their talent and made them great players, and so if someone else is doing it now, its still a good thing.

    You are right, Ganguly made this team into a great team. He gave it spirit. He gave it a dont-care-who-you-are attitude. He taught them that the only thing that mattered was to win. I absolutely hate people making this into an anti-bengal tirade, because Ganguly was never that kind of a person. He recognized talent, no matter where it came from, and some of the best players we have today were his finds. Saurav Ganguly was a great leader of men, and will remain so in our memories. Unfortunately, he has faded as a player. But if he comes back good, every Indian will be happy for him.

    Just one memory will be enough to make him a never-forgotten hero in our cricket history. Ganguly taking off his shirt in the Lord’s balcony. An event that showed how much he loved winning. How much he hated losing. And how much he wanted to get back when he lost to someone. A great way of telling Flintoff that if you can take off your shirt in my country, I will do that in the Mecca of cricket in your country, when you have lost the most important match of the season to me. In that one moment, he showed the hurt of defeat that had rankled in his mind for many months after Flintoff did the act. And won the heart of every Indian.

    Everyone knows that he is fighting a losing battle. And yet, so many of us WANT him to win this one. I think, that, more than anything else, is a victory for Saurav Ganguly.

  5. [GreatBong] I wouild not be surprised if someone in the middle order has a string of failures (VVS anyone???) and GreatBong 2 (aka Ganguly) makes a grand entry back !!! After all, how can a rasgoola eating Ganguly get beaten by an Aussie !!

    Nice post, but I suspect we have still not seen the “end of Ganguly”, Just like Prabhuji (when his critics write him off) keeps coming back, Ganguly will come back !!

    GHE

  6. @Anil: Such is the way India works.

    @Soumya: No never did. Not a big fan of celebrity restaurants anyways.

    @Anon: Greg is Usama in a face mask. Should have realized that before.

    @Deep: Sharad Pawar’s role? Well the first thing he did on coming to power was to remove all the selectors who had supported Sourav. Only them mind you. More who was involved in a bribery scandal stayed on board.What does that tell you? Pawar is not an idiot like Chappell that he shoots his mouth off at every opportunity—he believes in talking good about someone and then twisting the dagger in the back when noone is looking.

    Let’s look here. Unlike More and his foolhardy gang who went on record saying “We are looking beyond Sourav” thus making clear the truth “No matter what Sourav does, we shall not take him”, Pawar says :

    “I am sure that Ganguly will overcome his weakness and will be back. Nobody can stop him.”

    Dude, what weakness are we talking about? For Nagma? What weaknesses were revealed by his last two innings that were not known when he got selected for the Pakistan tour?

    Let’s read on.

    On reports that Ganguly will go to court over the controversy, Pawar said, “Ganguly is a contracted player of the BCCI and if he wants to continue as a contracted player, he has to abide by the rules of the BCCI. If he is not interested to continue, he is free to take any action he wants.”

    Which means Chappell is free to flaunt the BCCI rules and personally attack a contracted player.That only gets him a gentle pat on his ass. However if Ganguly ever wants to play again (not that he is going to) he cannot sue the board even when the board is endorsing the violation of its rules in the first place.

    Isnt this blatant bias?

    @GHE: I would be suprised if he comes back. And I would rather prefer that he does not comes back on a test-to-test basis without any promise of permanency—its too much of pressure on him and come on, he should not need to establish his “absence of weaknesses” on a per-match basis. If he should, then that rule should apply for the VVS Laxmans of the world too.

  7. Nice point about the puppet selection appointment. See- this reinforces my scepticism about cricket. It’s wierd how some of the important jobs have no prerequisites at all as a cricketer or an administrator.
    It’s a bit like that Monty Python scene.
    Crowd: A witch ! A witch! May we burn her ?
    Bedevere: Why do you think she’s a witch ?
    Crowd: She looks like one !

    Why is he a selector ?
    He looks like one.

  8. Bingo! I am happy you mentioned about Cricinfo … I always wondered why Wisden bought into that piece of trash … and unless they get genuine cricketers to write for them, it will continue to be … whatever …

  9. My dear friend GB,

    Its been simply stunning reading your takes on the different pearls in India and abroad but I’ve come here simply with a humble request.

    I’ve been reading your posts routinely (ok maybe i haven’t been commenting) but… please… and i mean puhleeeeez can you hunt down this famous film-critic Taran Adarsh for his infamous film-reviews. I mean, cmon you wouldn’t believe it but this guy doesn’t know a damn about things except how they’d fare, according to him, at the box office and then most of the times his predictions turn false.

    I’d say you n I could have a better idea of how a movie fared than this moronic idiot!

    Please, if you have some spare time, log onto http://www.indiatimes.com , read some of his film reviews (Rang De Basanti) to start off with which according to him has “ordinary” music by Rahman and read his takes on other movies. A movie like Swades gets a * and an RDB gets a ** 1/2 and a Dil Chahta Hai gets a **

    So what according to him excell? *** for Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya,
    and hold your breath……. yeah hold your breath

    PAHELI : ****!!!!!!!

    Man its high time he got a taste of your medicine!

    I’m sure he’s done enough to earn a post of yours on him than many others who were non-deserving.

    Great Affection to the man I respect.
    Exinator

  10. Loved Ganguly for his not backing off attitude. And for giving players he trusted a good run. And whats more, he never favored based on regional sentiments. To me these were new to the Indian team (atleast in terms of the efficacy and results they achieved). Some will say he had Dalmiya’s backing. True, but he made use of a good situation. Where’s the problem.

    Where he did not make the leap was in saying what next? While he was at the admirable things mentioned above, he should have also quietly learnt the value of things like strenuous discipline, constant improvement, broad framework-planning, that are essential to take teams to the next level in the professional world. For reasons only he knows, he did not. It showed not just in his stagnation and decline as GreatBong noted, but also in the lack of focus of some of the same promising youngsters that he backed.

    Unfortunately for all, he did not recognize his missteps in quick time. Allowed them to pile on, creating a vast army of Ganguly-dissidents. Meanwhile, the Dalmiya good times were becoming a liability. Dalmiya lost, as he ought to have, but it cost Sourav too. In summary, I like to think that Ganguly did not manage to blend the Imran Khan style of leadership with the more corporate Welch style (or Mark Taylor if you prefer a cricket equivalent). It eventually cost him.

    I would have much prefered some kind of a better, more respectable exit for him. But I guess he’s true to his fighting self, going out this way. He may well come back (who knows with Sourav) but it appears it will be very hard.

  11. I, for one, am a great fan of saurav’s fighting spirit…..and his batmanship till mayb late 2003. There is no faulting his contribution to Indian cricket and anyone who does so is probably not worth listening to anyway.
    But I feel that this is the best exit for him…… the whole of the cricketing public(at least 70% say) is rooting for him as anyone with basic cricketing knowledge can see that he has been wronged. But, the way he grafted thru his pakistan innings does raise the possibility of a weakning eye and as a result, at times, quite weird body positions when playing his sublime offdrives.
    So for me its better he leaves this way, rather than b prised out thru public opinion like a few of our ‘legendary’ former cricketers.

  12. While I have argued before that anti-Gangulyism is often a surrogate for anti-Bengalism

    I don’t know whether this was sarcastic or not; but I would certainly like to figure out why Bengalis and Maharashtrians are so rabidly provincial. What you might term anti-Bengalism is frequently just anti-rabid-provincialism on the part of others.

    Looking for possible reasons; one can see that both Bengal and Maharashtra have thriving provincial art scenes (theatres, literature etc.) but then so does Tamil Nadu, or for that matter Kerala but neither of the latter two are so rabidly provincial.

    GreatBong; do you have any insights?

  13. seven times six or 42 or whatever…you sure are funny!

    Try speaking in hindi in chennai and let me know who is what..First try and understand what provincial means before posting such immature comments..

  14. I have mixed feelings about Sourav. Having known him personally during our teenage years, I have always considered him to be an arrogant S-O-B, a pompous jackass, but his recent pleading with the BCCI to be allowed to play in “any” slot made me feel sorry for him! This is how the cookie crumbles I suppose 🙂

    I don’t forsee his comeback. He’s almost 34…in anycase he’d have retired in a year, at the most two! Let him be…he’ll mint money from his restaurant, his academy and who knows may be he’ll re-invent himself as a commentator!

  15. Hey GB,

    Just some information for you.. Our esteemed Chairman of Selectors was the same man who dropped Graham Gooch on 36 at Lords when India toured England in 1990

    Test # 1148 (1148/76)
    England v India, 1990, 1st Test
    Lord’s, London

    Gooch goes on to make 333

    *GA Gooch b Prabhakar 333

    now this very same gent talks of fielding and the pros and cons thereof.

    Also, Our esteemed Chairman of Selectors was involved in what is now known as kale-gate.

    Maybe there is hope for ganguly after all 🙂

  16. I have always believed he would play, and would have been very useful for India’s campaign for the World Cup. This is too early for me to react but I still home (though it seems a shallow hope now) that he does play in the World Cup some how for a last hurrah.

  17. Wonderful, Arnab. A superbly emotional post, yet you present an objective view. I wrote something similar last December, but you put it so much better.

    My best memory of Sourav (and I told him this when he visited our office once) – his best shot was in 2002. England were touring India and giving us a hard time. Steve Waugh pontificated in his usual fashion about Team India needing to get their act together.
    Sourav’s response was unequivocal – “Steve Waugh should shut up and think about Australia”.
    Shot! In one line, he summed up the change in attitide, the change in guard. No more nice-guy wimp captains who backed off, no more turning the other cheek. Mr. Aussie, you’ve dished it out all these days, now learn to take it! Small wonder that the next year India came so close to pulling it off in Australia.

    J.A.P.

  18. Yet another great post. I think the greatest contribution to Indian cricket by Sourav is not the number of runs he scored or wickets he took, or not even the matches won under his leadership. It’s something beyond that, an attitude. The attitude that made him twirl his shirt at the Lords’ balcony. He made the world understand that we Indians don’t care who you are; while playing with us, you are only as good as you perform on the field. Maybe this attitude was too much for some people to digest.
    And yes, SK is right. Probably seven_times_six has never been to Tamil Nadu, and so feels the people there are not provincial.

  19. Hi GB,

    As usual very well written but could feel a sense of bruished Bong pride overshadowing a rational writer’s psyche. There is no denying that Dada took the last year and half a tad too easy(with active backing of Dalmiya & Co).

    It is great to see Dada in a combative mood, with his focus on the improving his game and not getting involved in unnecessary brow beating. Communists Hysterical Didi will no doubt use him to garner sympathy cum votes in the impending elections. Already wooing him has begun.

    BTW it is also not the rest of India’s fault if Bengal hasn’t produced any national level cricketer in the last two decades.

    It is still too early to write-off Dada. Maybe we can see him in a better avtaar as a Regional selector and probably even as Chairman of the National Selectors. Dada can easily be the first selector with brains to grace the job. “Bunch of Jokers” adage still rings true at CCI, Mumbai… If nothing else what stops Dada from taking Football again with gusto !!!

  20. Hi Greatbong
    Nice post.
    I do believe that this is the end for Sourav. More has said as much and it will be hard for him to eat those words six months later. There is a slim chance that India will need someone experienced for the World Cup to replace an injured player but that is slim.

    Most of the time, Ganguly was a cautious batsman but when the moment came he could transform himself into the most destructive batsman in all cricket. I can remember four memorable incidents. First, of course, was his incredible 183 against Murali and co. at Trent Bridge (1999). Second, that wonderful century he scored at Headingly. The Indians were playing cautiously until the second new ball was taken. The English wanted the light to be taken and walk off. But he refused. And then he batted like a man possessed. He and Tendulkar put an extra 100 runs in just 11 overs and Ganguly scored most of that. Third, it was a meaningless Challenger series match and he just scored a century and came up against (I believe) Sukhbinder Singh. 34 runs (and his wicket!) in that one over. Fourth, a meaningless India vs. Sri Lanka A match in which Sourav had come in at 5 so that others could open. The run rate was getting very high (about 8 an over) and I was wondering if India might be embarrassed. But then Sourav hit 3 sixes in a row and India cantered home.

    This exterpt from Deep’s excellent comment sums up Ganguly passion really well:

    Just one memory will be enough to make him a never-forgotten hero in our cricket history. Ganguly taking off his shirt in the Lord’s balcony. An event that showed how much he loved winning. How much he hated losing. And how much he wanted to get back when he lost to someone. A great way of telling Flintoff that if you can take off your shirt in my country, I will do that in the Mecca of cricket in your country, when you have lost the most important match of the season to me. In that one moment, he showed the hurt of defeat that had rankled in his mind for many months after Flintoff did the act. And won the heart of every Indian.

    Ganguly was usually ranked about number 40 in the world as a test bastman – about on par with Nassar Hussein. And like Hussein, he might have read the handwriting on the wall when he lost his captaincy – but it will never be Ganguly’s style to exit gracefully when there is the slightest hope of playing more.

    But the thing is that Ganguly was for at least two years the number 1 ODI batsman in the world – that’s not opinion – that was the PWC cricket ratings. He was consistantly ranked above Tendulkar and everyone else in 1999 and 2000. It is hard to throw away a talent like that, especially when Sehwag is looking more and more like Afridi mark II instead of Tendulkar mark II.

  21. SK, Joy: I haven’t been to Bengal either, but I can still see the provincialism of Bengali diaspora. Your argument is valid however, and I must rephrase myself to refer to the provincialism of diaspora.

    It is interesting you take this in a bad vein, that means you consider such provincialism, if it exists and which you insist does not, as a bad thing. If, as you suggest, even Tamils are provincial, then my hypothesis of a thriving provincial art scene starts to make more sense.

  22. Great post Arnab.

    Frankly, I have absolutely LOST my interest in cricket ever since Chappell & Pawar took over the reigns. If we thought Dalmiya was bad, its going from frying pan to fire with Pawar. I lost my respect for Dravid too; he’s a native of place I grew up, but his cowardice stuns me.

    I think Chappell deserves a boot from the team too, with Tendulkar tagged along. Its so stupid that Saurav has become the puppet of selectors, media and everyone alike to keep speaking against him. Chappell’s last comment was totally unwarranted and pathetically cheap. He’s absolutely media crazy, and he’s being supported by whiteasslickers like More and Pawar – so much for “Indian” team spirit.

    Its rather sad that Ganguly went the way he did – he deserved more.

    Suyog

  23. This happens only in India. When Steve Waugh was removed no one raised slogans like Victoria vs New South Wales vs Western Australia etc etc
    Personally Arnab, I am yet to come across an Indian institution which is free from regionalism. From colleges to cricket boards, this evil is well entrenched and to remove it will require another Rennaisance or rather Reformation.
    Well, Saurav’s return is in his hands. “To hell with More, to hell with Chappel, to hell with Pawar.” The above should be his motto, and he should try to make it come true not by attending political meetings but by playing in the interzonal matches.
    In the midst of all this, spare a thought for Dravid. Hes not the evil person as some make him out to be but its just that given these circumstances he has to be tough if the team has to do well, else we have seen how unscrupulous people like Moin Khan try to rake up this issue again and again.

    Anyway, nice analytical set of posts u have here. Came to know about you through a friend and have taken the liberty of providing a link to your blog.

    I have a suggestion for a topic. Could you please analyse the reason for the virtual monopoly of the Communists in West Bengal?

    Finally, for the info of a few readers, the Hindi scene in Chennai atleast is better now. As far as the interiors go, no idea!!!

  24. *gulp… swallows a lump* Nostalgia already? Saurav Ganguly – Hat’s off to you… you’ll be remembered as the man who made Indian cricket “cool” & aggressive!

  25. Strongly emotional yet factual. Enjoyed reading it very much. *I was thinking that this weeek you would write about either the N-deal/Bush or Ganguly!* Chappel may be smart, but I wonder what would have happened if someone said Steve Waugh went on playing as long as he did because of financial reasons…phew!! For all his faults Ganguly is still the most successful test captian of India…it pains to see such disrespect.

    I am actually keenly waiting to know the team India fields for the next game. I think Laxman shud give way to Kaif in the team….and Shewag also needs to get his act together….Lets see what happens.

  26. To those complaining about Bengali parochialism/provincialism, let me say this. It seems that it is okay for people to abuse you for the non-performance of an Indian player with a certain surname or hold you responsible for the all the ills wrought by the communist party just because you happen to be from the same state. But it comes down to those dirty r- and p-words when you say something in support of Ganguly or some other Bong !!

    Getting back to Sourav, I hope he can come back – just to see some more of those elegant off-drives or those dances down the track. But it probably won’t happen – and mostly for the right reasons.

    One memory of Sourav is burnt in my memory – last day of the final test in a series against South Africa at Johannesberg (circa ’97 or so). India had lost the first two tests, but were in a pretty good position to win the third one. Kumble had taken Andrew Hudson’s wicket off the last ball on the fourth day, while Prasad and Srinath had run through the SAF top order in the morning when rain intervened. Quite shamelessly and unsportingly, the ground staff showed no urgency in getting the ground ready for resumption of play. Thereafter, Cullingnan and Klusenerhad kept India at bay for a long time, before Klusener was out to Kumble. However light was being offered to the batsmen – unless India bowled it slower bowlers only. I remember Sourav pleading with Sachin and the umpires to continue playing and wanting to bowl slow off-spin with a short run-up himself (which he was already doing) to give India at least a chance to win – there were only a few overs remaining anyway. That kind of do not give in attitude was really ushered in by players like Ganguly and Dravid.

  27. I share your feelings Great Bong. I have been a consistent supporter of Saurav. I remember the 143 odd runs he scored in Australia in the first test of that series and consider it as the best test innings he played. The manner in which he is exiting Indian cricket is very sad. He deserves better.

  28. deep: agree with you.

    gb: “powar took out only those selectors who sided with ganguly” (paraphrasing you here) and replaced them with neutral ones. does that make sense? what is wrong with what he did? i don’t doubt one bit that gangs would have been a goner two years ago, but for these very selectors. overall, i appreciate your blog and enjoy reading it, except for your ganguly tilt. the article you had on islam the other day was just too good. i even went back and read your marriage piece and forwarded to my bong-a-bandhus.

    on ganguly, his begging for his place back was akin to sehwag trying to bat out three maiden overs in a row (4th innings nagpur test). ain’t a pretty sight and totally out of character. both ought to cease and desist.

    suyog: dude, of all regions/states in india, it is worst to be born a kannadiga, because kannadigas never support their own. how did tipu sultan lose?

    ciao,
    s.b

  29. Oh lovely to see people calling Greg Chappell the white man who couldn’t care less about India. While the patriotic fervour of the Kolkata crowd was very apparent in the ODI against S. Africa… booing your own country and wanting the foreign team to win!
    Clean up your house before you talk of patriotism, great and not-so-great bongs.

  30. Pingback: DesiPundit » The end

  31. @Deep ThirdMan: Nah, can’t find where GreatBong talked about about “white men” and “patriotism”.
    Dear stupid friend, blood has flown in torrents to let you sit back on your couch and enjoy a live telecast and relish your fine slice of “patriotism”- and it still does.

    The first step to talking about patriotism is realising- that it is considerably more serious than what you are allowed to assosciate with a cricket match.

  32. Hi
    Arrogancy does not work all the time.Everybody is talking about players he backed,what about players he ruined????
    Murali kartik ,venugopal raoand vvs laxman were always on constant trail.
    No wonder he fell to the same politics,from where he drew his strength earlier.I hope no player will repeat the same by over estimating the fickle political power.

  33. These Bengalis..errr…bangladesis are complete fools.. dada sucks a big time… after dada now its the turn of harbhajan and sehwag

  34. Haha Anon, my couch-TV patriotism still beats your on the field boo-your-own-country patriotism. We are not talking of Bhagat Singh or Subhash Bose here, so let’s not talk of torrents of blood. We are talking about Greg Chappel, Kiran More and Saurav Ganguly.

    I was referring to other comments that talk about whiteass lickers and stuff. In my view, whiteassed people showed more commitment about India’s winning (finger gesture included) than did our brown deshwasis in Eden Gardens.

  35. I have not read your blog for quite some time. However my hunch did tell me that you would blog on this issue and you have only proved it right. I guess I can “pattern” you too when it comes to this issue 🙂
    I am really feeling sorry for u Arnab but feeling very happy for Indian cricket. It is time for him to GO or rather GET LOST. Once again, it is politics behind the scenes as usual but as long as it serves the purpose, I don;t care.
    He can take credit for building a team from scratch as we are led to believe, backing up youngsters etc etc but he kinda overdid them as in refusing to see beyond the likes of his yes-men some of whom just took their places for granted under his regime. He was foolish enough to think his position was unshakeable too. Most importantly consistently failed as a player.
    His aggression in my opinion is kinda fake. Somehow we folks seem to have a not so correct definition of this term. You would call a player like Dravid not aggressive or a nice guy because he would not chew nails, not take his shirt off, not ask Steve waugh to shut up etc etc despite being very aggressive with this bat..huh. I would call someone one like Imran Khan as aggressive not Sourav. Imran showed all the aggression with his performance and his body language. He would refuse to tour NZ for a series where only a second string side would be fielded. I am sure Sourav would have jumped in at such an opportunity and manage to score runs and pat on himself with a cheshire cat smile. In my opinion, he has been a shameless brand ambassador for the term “aggresion”. It is what I would call hollow aggression.
    Also Chappell’s remarks on the “finances” thingy is not a total bluff. He does not mean to say Sourav would not be able to earn his daily living without captainy!!! Look at the 50 crores in stake on his endorsements front what with a non-performance clause attached to it. 50 crores is no big deal even for your Maharaj!!!
    To sum it up, it was a shameless end something he thorougly deserved.

  36. Greatbong, Can understand your feelings but it is difficult to agree with you. I have loved Gangs for years yet it is obvious that he was sailing through soleley on his captaincy credentials, and that, too, purely on the motivation side. Is he a tactical genius, that he deserves to be in the team irrespective of form with the bat? Answer that question to yourself.

    That said, he is an awesome talent that neglected itself in the last few years in pursuit of the art of captaining a team to great heights. It is clearly seen in his performance in Pakistan – the moment he relinquished captaincy, he was able to improve his batting. Sad, then, that he couldnt improve both his batting and captaincy at the same time. And yes, Rahul is lucky that he spent the prime of his cricketing life honing his batting and apprenticing with Ganguly so when his time came, he is able to captain and bat with punch. Dravid owes a lot to Ganguly.

    I agree with you on More and co., as cheap as they come. But the principle of putting youth before experience cannot be faulted, much as I hate the Aussie b*****rd Gregie. And, yes, VVS will go soon, dont worry.

    Like you, I hope that Sauravda gets his Indian Summer, (hopefully with a change in the ruling faction, that could happen next year), and go out in style. But let him play Ranji/Duleep and force his way in, (ofcourse, I am eagerly awaiting More’s retirement for that to happen).

  37. And on Gregie, well, the things you do come back to haunt you. It is fine if Gregie felt if Suarav was destroying th e team ethic he was trying to foster(even if he was wrong in thinking that way). But to go about politically achieving his goal of removing Saurav from the team – that is really worrying. Because Karma tells me that, like Karna whose betrayal of Parushurama came back to haunt him at a crucial moment of his life, Gregie will have his moment of reckoning in his life. Oh! And here comes the catch – most likely that will be in the World CUp and most likely, that will lose the CUP for India! I hope the God of Karma goes on vacation during the WC 2007 🙂

  38. @ GREATBONG:

    I was actually thinking of writing something similar but I won’t now as I can’t even dream of making it as brilliant as yours.
    I too, to a huge extent believe that it IS the end of the road for Ganguly, especially after Pawar said that if Ganguly wanted to remain a contracted player of the BCCI he daren’t take the Chappel issue to the court. And, I have a feeling Ganguly is not gonna compromise on this issue and keep quite. He will go the legal way once he has enough back-up information to help his cause. True, his career would be well over with whatever minuscule chance he has of staging a comeback disappearing completely if he does that.
    But, even if he doesn’t , I don’t really see him coming back in the team at all, unless of course, something miraculously extra-ordinary happens, like, say….3 batsmen getting injured together or Sehwag and Laxman failing to score for 8-10 consecutive innings etc.

    Kiran More, today, is questioning Ganguly’s fitness and fielding abilities….let’s not forget that it’s the same More who had been instrumental in letting us slip away quite a few ‘almost won’ matches from our hands…..with his wonderful pair of gloves behind the stumps…..for example, droppping Graham Gooch on 36 at Lords’ after which Gooch went on to make 333 against us, which till date is the highest individual score by an Englishman against us.

    Syed Kirmani, without any doubt the best Stumper India has ever produced was called a ‘goal-keeper’ by More once. Such an arrogant ba*tard he is – this More guy!!!!

    He was involved in the infamous Abhjit kale bribe controversy and still got away with it. He wasn’t even warned or temporarily suspended.

    More was kicked out of the Indian team after his pathetic showing for almost the whole of ’92-’93 season both behind and in front of the stumps and with the emergence of Vijay Yadav and Nayan Mongia it became impossible for him to come back in.
    After almost a decade and a half, as the motherf***ing Chairman of national selectors he is taking all the revenge. From whom? Only he knows.

    @ Remal : I don’t really know what on earth you were trying to mean…..
    “dada sucks a big time… after dada now its the turn of harbhajan and sehwag” – what the heck is it suposed to mean? Dada sucks a big time…..and now, after Dada, bhajji and Sehwag will also start sucking? Is that you wanted to say?

    “These Bengalis..errr…bangladesis are complete fools” . By the way, in case you don’t know…. (in fact, I do believe that you don’t know)….NOT all Bengalis are Bangladeshis.

    By the way, in this discussion, where do Bangladeshis come from?

    I’m trying to believe that you’re not NUTS and are trying to put a point or two across.

  39. I just don’t understand as to why the whole discussion gets into provincialism and non-provincialism kind of debate every time we talk about Ganguly. I have read all the posts by Great Bong, and he wasn’t the first to raise the issue.

    On the other hand, I really regret that Ganguly has to depend on people like More for revival of his career. Every cricketer has to call it a day. Even the great Steve Waugh had to say adios. But, we collectively as a nation, have shown terrible lack of self-respect in the Ganguly issue. It’s true that he wasn’t doing well. His performances weren’t strong enough (upto Zimbabwe tour last year) to earn him a place in the team, and he was struggling. All the fans had a right to criticise him. But the way many of us, supported Chappel and let him ridicult Ganguly was depressing. When Chappel started harassing him, he didn’t have any performance as a coach. Ganguly, all said and done, is the most successful captain of India, and one of the best leaders of Cricket history. He revived Indian team, it’s attitude and recognition.

    The Prince of Kolkata, who went to become King of Indian cricket, had to depend on somebody like Pawar for getting into the team, and had to hear people like More commenting upon his cricketing credentials.

    Ganguly has given us some of the best moments of celebrations of our lives. He has given our country an attitude of strength, an attitude of champions. Before him also, we were champions at times; but we never behaved like one. It’s disheartening that we have failed, as a nation, as cricket lovers, to even say good bye with grace. Ganguly hasn’t lost anything, he was – is – and forever will be a champion. But we have lost; a great leader, a good cricketer, and our pride.

  40. @ Kandarp : Very neatly written. Summed up things really nicely. Perhaps the most sane response to this post of Arnab so far. Well done…..

  41. I am neutral of this issue. India playing good is what matters to me but your writing:

    “As for us fans, we shall always have fond memories of your sublime off-side glides, your towering sixes, your pedestrian running-between-the-wickets, your embarrassing fielding, your never-say-die attitude, your totally unparochial approach to man-management and your bare torso on the Lords balcony as you waved your shirt over your head like a helicopter showing the world that we Indians, from now on, shall give as good as we receive.”

    Brought in tears in my eyes!

  42. In the entire ‘con’troversy the only person I’ve begun to hate is the Chairman of selectors. Anyway, I still don’t think its curtains for the man, one day after the experiment with Sharad Pawar fails, Ganguly will come back, and I believe it will be an administrative role. Maybe as the Chairman of selectors, because lord knows the man has a great eye for spotting talent. Other than openers that is.

  43. I still have tears in my eyes whenever I see that video of Ganguly mouthing and waving his shirt from the hallowed balcony of the so called Mecca (any ideas why???) of cricket… That to me was the transformation of India_We_Will_Take_Whatever_You_Give_Us to India_We_Will_Give_Back_Your_Trash_As_You_Dish_It_Out

    And I am still hopeful for Team India as long as there are people like Bhajji and Yuvi who dare to speak out for what they believe in… Sourav believed in them and they have faith in Sourav… But yes it is time for the final good bye… :((

  44. There are many things Ganguly was.. it is sad that his career has to end on a note of incompleteness. Ganguly virtually got us into the Super Six at Taunton. His captaincy got India the label of the ‘the challenger’ team in the world. I mean, the victories pulled off under him are passing into legend. ‘Team India’ is taken for granted today, but as you pointed out, that was Ganguly’s legacy.
    Finally, one has to feel completely depressed that at the end of it all, Ganguly’s off-side play will never be seen again. Remember Steve Waugh and 6 on the off-side for Ganguly alone ?
    Great player is probably an understatement.

  45. I would still like to belive its not over yet for bangabandhu saurav, but then i would also like to belive many things that are better not discussed on a public forum.

    Ganguly is still better (matchwinning) than kaif/raina/gambhir in ODI`s & much more responsible & experience batter than yuv for tests. Even laxman has been more or less a failure in the recent past, and ganguly is a better fielder than him which does really put laxman at quite an disadvantage.

    They are just wasting talent for their vested intrest & politics , sounds familiar *sigh* yeh hai india.

  46. I am simply pasting here a text that showed up on indiatimes…..it’s in a different tone but still reflective of the situation. The treatment being meted out to Souravfrom Greg & the Board is not fair. But then, it wasn’t fair to Steve Waugh either. And do you remember a poor Robin Singh?

    Your post is much more readable and quite sincere this time because it doesnt suffer from the inferiority complex that was evident in your earlier post where you cried about a ‘larger anti-bengali’ motive.

    Here’s the text:

    ********
    The writing is on the wall. The selectors don’t want him, the team management doesn’t want him. With the doors of Team India dressing room all but shut on his face, Sourav Ganguly faces the biggest dilemma of his cricketing career: whether to chuck it all and call it quits, or fight on gamely like a disciplined soldier. So there is to be no third coming, not even the conciliatory balm of a sprightly jaunt into the sunset. Yet, perched though it is on a bedrock of flux, the time is ripe in Indian cricket for just the kind of uncontrite denouement that the whole, unsavoury Sourav Ganguly saga has meandered to. The curtain, when it fell, wasn’t so much anti-climactic as inevitable, more resembling a vexatious soap opera on which an obdurate plug has been pulled, rather than the heroic folk narrative it was purported to be. In the end, the melodrama tangled and tripped on its own complexities, so no mere “good-guys-won-out” maudlin here will suffice to explain what transpired. And therein lies the problem. Many would like to believe India’s most successful skipper was also made a victim of circumstances, or of personal agendas, but it is a lie borne out of confusion. If he has been made scapegoat, it has been borne out of a clash of cricketing cultures: the battle to reinstate method and precision, and sense of duty, over mercurial flamboyance and bare fervour. In the bigger picture, Ganguly simply got trapped in the cold chasm between the forthcoming and the foregone.

    This time, it looks like there can be no escape. A fallen Maharaj is probably finding an entire country of faith healers inadequate succour after the mule kick of an exclusion from the Indian squad for the upcoming series. Now would be a good time to look inside, ruefully dwell on the bittersweet symbolism of England in a cricketing career, or even better, contemplate the vicissitudes of change. Because, for all the immense good Ganguly brought, the era was his, and his alone, to mould: therefore, the ills – especially in the latter part – stuck to him like leech and wouldn’t let go. It is easy to repent for past sins, but ridding them would imply getting rid of the protagonist, and even the emergence of a more disciplined and keener Ganguly in the wake of the Greg Chappell showdown was too little, too late.

    The coach himself said after the Karachi Test that “cricket can be a cruel game. It’s not always that you bat badly, but that you get out for a low score”. The message was immediately clear, only no one was letting on yet. But Kiran More’s ardent comment on Rahul Dravid’s tacit approval for the squad for the first Test against England yet again nails home the crux of the matter: Ganguly is unwanted, he doesn’t fit into India’s scheme of things anymore, and even a ceremonial recall won’t alter that basic argument. It is time for him to go – after all, it’s happened to the best of them before – and there can be no turning back. As it turned out, easier done than said.

    For a man who consistently mocked history and precedent – his greatest moments of glory on a cricketing field were carved by cocking a snook at the yardstick – being bracketed with cricket’s other glorious rejects will probably not go down too well with Ganguly. Hence the pursed lips and grimmer determination, the calls from the likes of Sunil Gavaskar to not throw in the towel in exasperation. It is a game Ganguly has played well before, only his time might have come and gone. Unlike Dravid, stolid resilience was never part of Ganguly’s batting or leadership lexicon, and the vigoruous emphasis on youth has ensured more receptivity for the Chappell philosophy. There are seniors too willing to toe the line, and watching from the sidelines, Ganguly would have seen “his” team evolving with the times, metamorphosing into a bunch of game triers rather than prima donnas with the latent ability to knock oppositions out in their sleep. In a way, the ouster isn’t so much representative of a transition from has-beens to overachievers, but a re-emergence, of sorts, of cricketing humility over hubris. There is a fear the bunch of newcomers can come a cropper against England, but that’s not the point: There can be no going back on the methodology behind the transition.

    Maybe, somewhere deep down, it will always rankle that the mess was of his own creation: the frivolous attitude towards fitness, the overemphasis on rallying the team at the expense of personal form, and a refusal to acknowledge a change in attitude. But that’s all in the past: for the nonce, this team has no place for Ganguly. The coach has made that very clear, and the skipper and selectors are willing to play ball. Maybe that wasn’t the way it could have been, but that’s the way it is. Giving up is never easy, of course, but Ganguly will find it increasingly harder to motivate himself in the domestic circuit. Career obituaries, always unpleasant things, will abound, but that too shall pass: Soon it will be time to check the latest scores.
    ********

    It is so essential to not unbecome the deserving person you are, when the wind is not favorable. Sourav did fail the test, but he still passed the exam. His respect stands restored.

  47. Good post as usual. But somehow the comments are not as thought provoking as they generally are. Are we missing yourfan /(2)??? 🙂

    I seriously doubt that Ganguly can come back in the Indian team. Even if he does, all this ‘Chappal’ controversy has left a very bad taste in the mouth and it wouldnt really matter.

    What worries me most is that the focus should be on Gregs role rather than Gangulys ability. Whats Greg REALLY upto? And as far as More is concerned, he believes in “Bahte Gange Main Haath Dhoo Loo”…..Abhijit Kale might be THE opener for all we know.

    Goodbye Ganguly. You will be missed as a player but am sure you would be around in some role and give us another legacy in whatever you choose to do.

  48. I welcome this blog. Because now I hope that at last your crying over kicking Ganguly out from team will be over.
    Fact: Indian team is performing better and better since Chappell came on board and we are even dreaming of World cup ’07.
    And I prefer fact over all this rubbish fiction.
    One more fact: Everyone must remember Ganguly started the episode of talking out to the press.
    And Chappell took his revenge in the same fashion Ganguly used to take revenge with people who were not his yes-men.
    Your hatred for Pawar is understandable. Becasue of Pawar, Jaggu the great protector for Ganguly went out.
    It is really funny to read that Ganguly was the essence of arrogance.A man with a minimal pride would also have declared his retirement from cricket by now. Sometimes, I really believe in Chappell’s remark that ganguly wanted to stay in the team for financial reasons.

  49. @Deep ThirdMan: Pea brain- that’s my whole point- if you are talking about couch-TV-Kiranmoron-Chappel-Ganguly (I presume you are more comfortable with that), then please use a different word for it- because that is NOT “patriotism”. And as far as I can see- you are the one that brought that word up- not Greatbong or anybody else.
    P.S. The “Licking a white ass” comment- does not have anything to do with “patriotism”- not even the way I look at it. It’s a suggestion that somebody sitting on a chair might have a little more respect (no pun intended) for his own judgment. But I guess those are finer points. Sorry for overhead transmission.
    Oh, just in case you didn’t understand the first para- there’s no such thing as “being patriotic upto the point of supporting India in a cricket match.” Tool.

  50. @All: Yes that feeling again—napalm in the morning. Even a blogpost that highlights Ganguly’s failings as well as his success brings out the worms from the woodwork…sorry readers from all over….who take the opportunity to call Bengalis non-patriotic (yes they sure know their history) as if it was even relevant for this post. The same old story: Pawar is a good guy only because he chucked out Sourav Ganguly. Murali kartik was a great talent ruined by Ganguly…..which shows that when a person is blinded by hate, neither reason nor knowledge can save him.

    @Anon1: No because he knows which boot to lick.

    @Bonatellis: Its not that they write bad….most of them are good writers if only if they could be a bit “objective”.

    @Anon2: Hello Debashish. Long time no see (it’s you isnt it? 🙂 ) ….I don’t see what you find about “not letting go”—-I didnt say “Bring back Ganguly” did I?

    @Exinator: You took that out of my mind—I had in my buffer a post about horrible movie reviewers and Taran Adarsh was on the top of my list. However I would appreciate if you could mail me such suggestions rather than post them as comments on unrelated topics. That way I can remember also.

    @Mahi: I don’t see him coming back. No never.

    @Rahul: I agree with your point. His innings against pakistan was not his fluent best—the effort he was putting in was evident. But in his favor, he was playing under choking personal pressure and I am sure he knew that this was the last time he was in national colors. It means a lot to him and not because he is a Bangladeshi or that he makes money—it is because like most players, there is immense pride at being a representative of the country.

    @Seven_times_six: I would say everybody is provincial and noone finds his own community parochial. I have seen extremely parochial Tamils just like I have seen Marathis, Bengalis and even Malayalees. I also do not find provincial pride to be a bad thing *as long as* it does not entail hating or pulling down peoples and cultures of other places.

    @Sk: As I said, everybody does that…

    @Nautilus: Our assessment of Sourav as a player and a captain should be totally orthogonal to our assessment of Sourav—the person.

    @Sourav: Mr Ganguly? Is it you?

    @Anon3: Oh no no. As you see in the comments, Pawar only replaced the incompetent selectors. Since he did not replace More, he must be *GREAT*.

    @ Pratyush: A cold day in hell before that happens pal.

    @ Ankit: thank you

    @Anirudh: Thank you

    @JAP: Yes these memories we always shall have. Just like Azhar’s sublime batsmanship.

    @Joy: Thats right. The self-belief he brought into the team was unbelievable for a team that had always lost the battle mentally to lousy opponents.

    @Amit Pandeya: So how come this piece made you come around to Bong and Communist baiting? Whether we produce sportsmen or not doesnt follow anywhere from this post—or was it pre-decided that whatever I write you are going to say that. Bruised Bong pride…my friend it will be a sad day when Sourav Ganguly is considered an icon of Bengali pride….we have far greater men to be proud of. Enough said because this post is not about that.

    @ Michael: I bow my head to your memory and your love for the nuances of cricket. I am speechless.

    @Suyog: Well he wont be the first one criminally dealt with by the powers-that-be based on political considerations.

    @Deepak: I agree that regionalism is entrenched everywhere and it does no good pointing fingers. In the case of Australis, they do not have to grapple with historical cultural divides between Queensland and NSW—they are much more homogenous as we are. Having said that, they also fight that one province has too much representation in the national side and not others—so you are also not 100% correct.

    I never said Dravid is an evil person. You see I am not blinded by hatred like some other commenters here. I think Dravid desperately wants the job of the captain—and he very well may turn out to be a great leader.

    @Freaky Chakra: Yes always a bit of sadness…somehow these people become part of your daily life in such a way..

    @SD: Getting predictable am I not? I am not too hot on Kaif—-I am mad for Yuvi though. I have seen little of Raina but his cover glides reminded me so much of someone I shall never see again.

    @Bongopondit: Wholly agree with your sentiments.

    @Manoj: Yes he did.

    @Somebody: Yes of course. He replaced only those who supported Ganguly (which is how he defines competence) and kept More, someone who was part of a bribery scandal. Yes of course—totally understand that.

    And as to Kannadigas dont support their own…thats what you like to think. The Battle of Plassey was lost by the betrayal of a Bengali of a Bengali……dear somebody being a traitor is a human failing…kindly stop trying to explain it in regional terms.

    @DeepThirdMan: Yes just like the patriotic Bangalore crowd booed Sourav. That was fun wasnt it? And guess what if on a pitch where the opposition scores 188 without losing a wicket and we get all out for that score—-the cricket team deserves to be booed. Try to put them deep into your pipe, Deep Third Man.

    @Mallik: Murali kartik ? Wow what a talent….wonder why now that Sourav is not in the team, he is not called back. And venugopal rao? Wow another brilliant potential—wonder why he was dropped during Dravid’s reign….why didnt your man Rahul rescue the career of this newage Bradman? VVS Laxman’s career ruined? For a man who played one sublime innings (India, 2001) and then one great series (Australia 2004) in his career, Laxman has had plenty of opportunities.

    @ Remal: Yes we are Bangladeshis….have you guys seen how every time my thesis gets proven—that anti-Gangulyism is always driven by anti-Bengalism…do see how “Indian” fans have taken to regional name-calling when there was not an iota of Bengalism in this post at all.

    @ynot: See I blog on Ganguly just to have you come back again and again. I was heartbroken you hadnt visited my blog for so long. Why not? “Yes-men”—yeah right.
    Till the next time then.

    @Raj: No he does not. His primary duty is to bat and if he cannot command a place on batting *alone* he should step aside. I totally agree with you. No man, no matter how much of a Romel he is, can play solely on captaincy. However I felt he had played well enough in Pakistan to command a place on the strength of his batting alone.

    And I dont think Karna betrayed Parashurama—-it was his respect and consideration for Parasurama that was his undoing (combined with the fact that Parashurama was a racist bigot against Kshatriyas). I don’t know which Mahabharata you read…but Karna is one hero in the the Mahabharatas who never “betrays” anyone…even when he marches to certain death.

    @Dev: Yes that’s what Kiran More is…a man who has the temerity to call a legend like Syed Kirmani a goalkeeper when Parthiv Patel (whose keeping is ahem…), Kiran More’s protege, was dropped. Exactly the kind of “neutral” selector a statesman like Sharad Pawar promotes.

    @Kandarp: I don’t understand either.

    @Varkey: Thanks

    @Ritesh: Of course Indian cricket is the only thing matters to die-hards like us.

    @K: I hope Sourav comes back as a selector—spotting talent and motivating youngsters.

    @Amit; True. Yuvi to me is a real hope.

    @SEV: Yes I remember.

    @Anon: I still think he is as a batsman but Kaif/Raina make compelling cases as fielders.

    @Mukul: Cant say I ever suffered from an inferiority complex. And I still stand by what I say—note that even a very balanced article (as you assess it) still brings out anti-bengali hate from people….this was precisely my thesis which unfortunately you interpreted as an expression of a complex.

    @Ashit: Wow. Now not only is the quality of my posts getting critiques but also the quality of my readers comments !!! Yourfan, Yourfan2…wherefort art thou? My other readers need you. 🙂

    @Latha: Sarcasm? Did I make you laugh here or is this a general comment?

    @Right: Yes of course. How right you are—I mean how can one argue with someone who has already dubbed himself as “Right”?

    @Ashit: He better get used to it.

  51. How about the dictator “Mr More” who claims that whatever happens he and his team would not let Ganguly back in the Team.
    Why ??
    What happens if Laxman/Yuvi fails in all the innings against England and SG scores centuries in all the innings he plays from now on (lets believe that hypothetically), SG still does not get in ?
    Reading More’s comments I have a feeling that SG has been caught in some bribery scandal (may be the financial thing GC is inkling about 😉 ) and whatever happens he would not be in the Team.
    That comment should be good enough to relieve More off his duties, he did BS enough in the last few months.
    Anyway great article as usual Arnab,
    Cheers,
    Sandip

  52. trust a bengali to give “communal” color to the ganguly saga!

    you know what, lets have an official quota system in the cricket team too.

  53. @Ankan: We do already. Right now it’s: South: 60%, West- the rest. That explains Raina and VRV being dropped without a match and Kumble/ VVS shitting along happily. It’s undoubtedly evil Bengal’s conspiracy that such searing talents like Murali Kar-thick (is he ever going to bowl under 50 runs in an ODI ?) and Venugopal Rao are being kept out.
    Well, talking of quota: Any guesses as to where 2 out of the top 5 wicket takers this Ranji season were from ? Mr. Pawar’s anxeity to have a vegetable represent the East in selection meetings is understandable.

  54. A lot of fuss has been raised about the parochial overtones around the entire Sourav issue. While a lot of non Bengali Indians constituted, and I guess still constitute, a not insignificant chunk of Sourav’s support base, the very “Bong” centric ruckus raised by, among others, “Bengali” politicians, “Bengali” Actors Guild, “Bengali” street protesters, “Bengali” newspapers and media persons, helps create an impression that this is a “Bengal versus the rest of us” type of issue.

    Most of the objective analysts will be able to say that:
    a) Sourav brought a very talent centric and non parochial approach to the Indian cricket team’s selection approach
    b) He helped overthrow the assumption that Indian cricketers lacked balls and could bite back nastily, giving a miss to all that crap about showing the other cheek when slapped
    c) He backed talent and showed perseverance, when needed, to nurture and grow talent
    d) His own talent, along with doggedness and aggression, was a treat to watch during those wonder-years.

    However, the decline in performance had begun in the last year or two, and if one took out the blinkers, it was becoming apparent that Sourav, the player, was no longer a slam-dunk selection to the team.

    While Greg Chappel aint no angel, he was perfectly within his rights, as a coach, to share his inputs with Sourav during the Zimbabwe series, to give captaincy a rest and focus more on his batting. When Sourav went public, on what was certainly a very private in the dressing room discussion, he basically broke the “gentleman’s code”, if ever there was one, and everything else happening after that has been fair game.

    You cannot go to the media once and then crib if the other party does the same.

    You cannot rely on the backing of power centers, e.g. Dalmiya, and then crib that another power center, led by Pawar, is playing the same game.

    You cannot have vocal, parochial, and I must say, bordering on the asinine, supporters such as the aforementioned actors guild, assorted Marxist MPs, and assorted street goondas from the CPM and Trinamool cadre come out in your support and then wonder why the rest of India(ns) wonder why the Bongs have gone crazy.

    I wonder how many of the commenters here actually watched the India South Africa match in person or on TV. It was disgusting to watch the crowd boo at the Indian cricket team in general, and Rahul Dravid, in particular. Rahul is one of the most diligent and honest cricketers out there, and it left an extremely sour taste in the mouth to watch the residents of what is claimed to be one of the most culturally “aware” cities in India to behave as such. If the, ahem, highly educated and cultured residents of this city do not have the sophistication to distinguish between evemts taking place at a Board and Selection committee based power struggle level and a match being played by hard working and dedicated cricketers, then I wonder if there is much to differentiate between the denizens of a city that gave us so many Nobel Laureates from your average Arrah, Ballia, and Chapra (with apologies for stereotyping these great Bihar cities).

    I am a big fan of Greatbong’s writings, but I think his unqualified support for Sourav does have a flavour of thinly disguised parochialism.

    To conclude, no-one, including GreatBong and I, should be ashamed of being (or having been) Sourav supporters, but realistically, we should also recognize that Dada has also contributed, in no small measure, to this situation by being a stubborn bastard (the same quality, by the way, that we so loved in him), and continuing to take support from assorted loony tunes worthies like street goondas of CPM/Trinamool etc.

  55. There, GreatBong, you proved it. You would rather see India lose because Ganguly didn’t feature in it. Just like you see your thesis proven when you start with the assumption that anti-Ganguly means anti-Bong (of course with that line of thinking, what kind of comments would you expect?), I see another thesis proven that it has to be Ganguly at all costs, let the country lose. Ganguly is not the same as India, if you think that booing Ganguly calls for booing the Indian team as a whole.

    Man, you people always hark upon past records, but nothing of this sort comes when you speak of Kumble. Kumble is the biggest test match winner for India, more than Mr SRT himself. How many test matches has India won in India, if Kumble has not done well? If people are decent like Kumble and Dravid, then you can call them weak, and if you are brash like Ganguly, then you are a born leader forever? ha!

    Ganguly was a great player post 1996, no doubts about that. But that greatness went down the drain a couple of years back. I also agree that in the overall view, he was badly treated given his contribution to Indian cricket. He deserved a bit of stick for the non-professional attitude of the last couple of years, but he didn’t deserve being humiliated thus.

  56. I don’t know what makes me most angry about this entire situation… The greatest captain in Indian history, or should I say the MOST SUCCESSFUL captain in Indian history just tossed away as if he was some Ajit Agarkar

    and what’s up with reprimanding Yuvraj for praising Ganguly? Its ridiculous

  57. @Sandip: More isnt a dictator…thats giving him too much credit. He is the court jester.

    @Ankan: Yes you are so right. And trust someone like you to see communal when it doesnt exist.

    @Anon: Again the issue isnt Bengalism here.

    @Miki12: If you think that poor peformance doesnt deserve to be booed tell me why Sourav was booed at Bangalore? Have the balls to deal with questions I raised—why does a 188 all out not deserves booes…esp when the opposition gets the runs without loss of a wicket. Remove your blinkers sir.

    @Aniket: One more Bong supporting Sourav I can hear our commenters say…Jha is a very Bengali surname.

    @Deepthirdman: “You would rather see India lose because Ganguly didn’t feature in it.” From which statement did your great mind deduce that from? And yes Kumble has won so many matches for India abroad that its positively embarassing. Kumble and Dravid are decent—-are we looking for brides for them?

    @Kamal: Freedom of opinion is something Chappell is not too hot on—despite being served truth for breakfast instead of cereal and milk.

  58. Chappell – the only thing that matters to me is whether he delivers the World Cup or not. Plus take India to decent levels in the Test Cricket ladder – dont expect India to be the next Australia – that needs a lot of infrastructural and systemic and *cultural* changes. But anything less than a WC and Chappell should be kicked out without salary for 2007. Because the much-faulted John Wright took us to WC finals. So, with all his methods, GC should win the WC to justify his actions. I seriously wish there was a performance clause linked to this objetive in Gregie’s contract. If he does win the WC for India, I will even forgive him for playing politics with Saurav.

  59. Greg Chappel keeps making one derogatory comment after another about Sourav and all he gets from the BCCI is a mild warning. After the ‘leaked e-mail’ controversy, when all his allegations against Sourav were proved to be untrue, the BCCI didn’t take any steps against him. He was just ‘warned’.

    Harbhajan Singh, unable to cope up with the unfair goings-on in and around Indian cricket, opens his mouth in support of Sourav, suggests Chappel is trying to impose “Divide & Conquer” rule in the team. He too gets a strict ‘warning’ from the BCCI.

    Yuvraj Singh, precisely the man whose talent was apotted and always backed by Sourav and eventually for whom Sourav had to make way in the team expressed his admiration and gratitude towards Sourav. he said he felt Dada should have been in the team because he still truly deserved it. Admiring someone or expressing gratitude to someone is totally a personal gesture and it shouldn’t affect the team or the members in any way. But again, he too was strictly ‘warned’ by the BCCI.

    Kiran More gets involved in a bribe controversy. Abhijit Kale loses the case and gets banned for his life. Since More was one of the accused, he should have been , at least temporarily , suspended from his post while the proceedings were still on in the court, but he wasn’t. He didn’t even get a mild, polite ‘warning’.
    More says he won’t let Ganguly get back in the team even if he performs well in the domestic circuit. He doesn’t get any ‘warning’ this time also…while he should have been kicked outta whole thing and banned for life for bringing this personal vendetta (with ganguly, GOD knows for what reason) in public.

    So, what’s BCCI’s stand here?

    DOUBLE STANDARDS…. isn’t it ?

  60. Ha Ha Ha !!! Most Funniest blog and comments I am seeing after a long time. To recount it

    ..you play right into the hands of people like Pawar, More and Cricinfo whose spin works on showing that Sourav Ganguly is a has-been …

    – Cricinfo comes into the scene from where .. that was a bouncer … That is a site as there are other sites who put their opinions. Not to say all the newspapers published in West Bengal as also this very blog have their own opinions. Just coz Cricinfo opinions are not favorable .. does that mean they are contriving .. It can also be said that this blog and the previous blog is contriving to change public opinion against removing Ganguly …. I am not sure whether the Indian Cricket board reads Cricinfo before deciding or for the fact senitments of the mass.

    …. Dude, what weakness are we talking about? For Nagma? What weaknesses were revealed by his last two innings that were not known when he got selected for the Pakistan tour? …

    — Dude .. do u really watch cricket matches or just derive your knowledge from all the tabloids and websites. I think, it is pretty evident what weaknesses he has

    A recurrent theme in comments

    I would have much prefered some kind of a better, more respectable exit for him

    — Are you guys serious …. really at a professional level I would like my team to win and not care for the players respectable exits. If they cant play they are to be thrown out. I have not seen anyone getting so passionate about Anil Kumble who was not taken in the One Day side or i havent seen any eulogies for Steve Waugh when he was thrown out. Guys get serious, this is professional work for them, they get paid for performing. If you dont work properly inspite of having 5 glorious years under your belt .. does it stop them from giving u the boot .. Whatever answer you get here will be the same for Ganguly too …

    This is also one of the best comments

    I lost my respect for Dravid too; he’s a native of place I grew up, but his cowardice stuns me. ….

    — I havent understood where did we see his cowardice. Ganguly is dropped and Dravid is given a responsibility and he takes up. If you think selecting the entire team is the captains perrogative than what do the selectors do ? Dravid will only be involved in selecting the final 11 and not selecting Ganguly is a cowardly act … it in fact would boomerang on him if Ganguly was the best player there … Give some more examples of Dravid’s Cowardice for me to believe … but the best was Tipu Sultan reply to this comment. This has to be the most stooopid comment.

    …. Your place as a captain will be taken by Rahul Dravid, a great batsman and going by his recent record, hard-as-nails and as crafty as they come. Which is heartening because I always mistakenly thought that Dravid was too much of a nice guy to be a captain. ………

    — Dude Nice Guys cant be captains .. only agressive people can be captains .. is this the line of thought here. I do not find a mention of Rahul Dravid being dropped from the One Day side as he could not score at a fast pace although being technically competent and had to work hard to come back to the team … How very convinient to not remember small stuff …. interestingly .. and no sarcastic comment but I think he was tough as nails …

    … You would call a player like Dravid not aggressive or a nice guy because he would not chew nails, not take his shirt off, not ask Steve waugh to shut up etc etc despite being very aggressive with this bat..huh.

    — Seriously the best part of the comments I liked so far.

    …. Kiran More, today, is questioning Ganguly’s fitness and fielding abilities….let’s not forget that it’s the same More who had been instrumental in letting us slip away quite a few ‘almost won’ matches from our hands…..with his wonderful pair of gloves behind the stumps…..for example, droppping Graham Gooch on 36 at Lords’ after which Gooch went on to make 333 against us, which till date is the highest individual score by an Englishman against us. ……

    — Huh !!! Dropping one catch disqualifies him … In that case it makes more sense to remove Ganguly. Seriously, Dude .. u hold a bigger grudge against Kiran More than Ganguly does !!! and to move further on with your comment

    More was kicked out of the Indian team after his pathetic showing for almost the whole of ‘92-’93 season both behind and in front of the stumps and with the emergence of Vijay Yadav and Nayan Mongia it became impossible for him to come back in.

    — And you reckon this should not be the case with Ganguly. You should persist with him even though he has lost his own form .. Do remember Cricket is a team game, a captain can do nothing if his team members dont support him .. Do you remember Tendulkar as a captain ….

    The same old story: Pawar is a good guy only because he chucked out Sourav Ganguly. Murali kartik was a great talent ruined by Ganguly…..which shows that when a person is blinded by hate, neither reason nor knowledge can save him.

    — Seriously havent read this anywhere … maybe missed some tabloids u could forward the links …

    I think Dravid desperately wants the job of the captain—and he very well may turn out to be a great leader.

    — Oh !!! Didnt hear Dravid Begging or scheming for the job. It started with Chappel Vs Ganguly ALtercation. and what is wrong wanting to be the captain .. I think every player does want to be the captain someday, even if it is the cricket I play in the bylanes.

    I am a big fan of Greatbong’s writings, but I think his unqualified support for Sourav does have a flavour of thinly disguised parochialism.

    Totally agree … thinly maybe a understatement

    If you think that poor peformance doesnt deserve to be booed tell me why Sourav was booed at Bangalore? Have the balls to deal with questions I raised—why does a 188 all out not deserves booes…esp when the opposition gets the runs without loss of a wicket. Remove your blinkers sir.

    — Aha !!! Removing Blinkers and having balls … How about some facts ?
    The booing started long before India even completed fielding. The Match had not even started to go either ways and the crowd had started booing …
    I will hypotheize at this point that if Ganguly were leading, we would not have seen booing even if we were out for 88.. let alone 188

    C’mon this is the national team …. even when Brazil was playing disastrously against France in World Cup Soccer Final, I didnt see a single boo from the brazilian Fans.

    It is always said how good the character of Eden Garden Fans is … But just booing Ganguly on a separate ground, the fans decided to shun India … it shows a figure is more important than nation ….

    and let me not even start about supposedly rumors ” the pitch which had never bounced before was a bouncy track just because Ganguly was not there”

    Its Ganguly who is not playing but it looks like you are the guys who are the most disappointed as your desire to see him on top and retire respectfully has not been fulfilled. Get real guys … he had to work hard to be on top .. coz the only way to come down is too fall yourself

  61. I say that the fact that Ganguly was dropped wasnt the bad thing… It was the manner and the reasons given for the same… Also the cotroversy they flame after it… Shameful… Agreed Ganguly started it but then you threw him out… So stop it… Let the guy work and try and earn a plce back in the team… Not beg for it or be forced into the team on reasons other than merit… He is the Prince and he can bounce back… Just dont fixate on him… Though he may not make it into the team dont write him off… not just yet… maybe after one Ranji season… but not just yet…

    Also the double standards… Why was Bhajji asked to explain his support for Ganguly and Yuvi reprimanded for their support for Ganguly… Why wasnt Chappel issued a show cause notice for saying stuff like Ganguly depended on his captaincy for livelihood… also saying that he didnt know then… what would he have done had he known??? made a different decision???
    And we do not look for decent gentlemen in cricket… It aint their game anymore… I think we hired Chappel coz he had the guts to bend the laws as much as he cud (underarm) becoz he wanted to win… not appear a nice guy…

  62. Really a good comment by KK. Finally some sensible comment.
    After reading all comments, I really feel all these guys are begging for Ganguly to be included in the team.
    You call Ganguly a prince? Absurd, If he had any self-respect left in him ,he would have declared his retirement from game by now. This really makes us believe Chappell’s comments about Ganguly being greedy for money.
    All you parochials blinded by regionalism, can’t you see that Ganguly’s performance was poor and still he was in team with the help of Jagmohan Dalmiya. Can’t you see that whole India (except some parochial Bengalis) wanted him out of the team. Chappell simply voiced whole India’s wish,but Ganguly’s reaction to that was very miserable. Can’t you see due to this pompous behaviour after this incident that Ganguly is getting so much hatred from whole world. BCCI does not take any action on people who call an arrogant an arrogant.
    This is plain truth in broad day-light. But from people blinded by prejudice, how can we expect to see this plain truth?
    Arnab, I like your other blogs which are written in balanced manner. But when topic comes to Ganguly, I think, you become like many other bangalis,close-minded.

  63. KK,you couldnt have put it any better…
    You are right..kolkata wouldnt have booed if ganguly was there.

    This is a heavily biased post.

  64. GB,

    A good tribute to Sourav Ganguly. I don’t follow cricket a lot these days but I have fond memories from my childhood, the 1983 cup, 1985 in Australia where Ravi Shastri was fool of fools I mean champion of champion etc. Kirmani and Engineer are probably the best wicket keepers Indian cricket has ever seen. The current bunch of players have shown some spunk but eventually the “lean and mean” “hungry dogs” are going to become “fat cats” in a couple of years with no drive in them. Kapil Dev was probably the only player who played every game like his “final exam”.

    More’ is a joke, how the heck did he become a selector, or actually why does every ex cricketer become a selector? these guys are not talent scouts, that is a job in itself which requires certain skills, level of education etc. Hey, just because you are a good waiter, does not mean you will be a good manager, the two job requires different skill sets.

    Chappell brothers were one of the most arrogant, nasty cricketers in their time. He had no respect for the Indians when they toured Australia in the 70’s. Well, that is a whole different issue altogether which we are not going to get into, if you get my drift. Is he a good manager for India?, maybe.. Are their managers of that caliber in India, I mean a brown dude, perhaps… But the Indian players rather play for a foriegn dude and shine for him than an Indian manager, where they can have their way. You know, the British have left, but we still worship Gora sahib’s behind, that is the problem here.

    Sourav was an above average cricketer, not a great one. So are Tendulkar, Gavaskar etc. It is the Indian masses that make them demi-gods and worship them.

    Cricket, like Hindi fantasy movies is a means of escape for the masses in India. And as long as it remains that way, there will be anarchy and mismanagement and controlled by politicans and ex- cricketers who have no idea about how to run a business.

  65. miki12: you took the words out of my fingers.

    g.b: i obviously did not interview the bangalore crowd so i don’t know why they booed ganguly. suffice it to say that i, too, would have booed him at about that time because (to the best of my knowledge sitting here in the usa):

    – he broke the unwritten code of conduct and bared to the media confidential discussions within the dressing room. if nothing else, this potentially gave the opposing team a leg up (psychologically) on us.

    – he incited bengalis (by hook or by crook, by happenstance or wilfully, knowingly or unwittingly) to protest the entire indian team (and dravid in particular) at eden gardens when they (the entire indian team) had nothing to do with the chappel-ganguly spat.

    re: kannadigas, how many blog articles/comments by kannadigas can you point that protested when kumble was dropped from the odi team? how many rallies/protests did you see in karnataka? did any politician threaten to raise cain? was ganguly booed anywhere in karnataka following kumble’s being dropped?

    we are obviously not talking performance here, just crowd (and public) reaction. otherwise, i am sure you would agree – if you had an objective hat among your collection – that ganguly has been a goner (from a player’s standpoint) for about a year now.

    that said, i would not have dropped ganguly from the nagpur test – either vvs or tendulkar would be the ones i would have left out (strictly based on the performance on the recent pakistan tour and a head-to-head comparison). of course, from my previous para comment, i also do believe that we are close to dropping both srt and vvs (in my selection book).

    – s.b.

  66. I am a fan of ganguly. Still I don’t think he should be playing anymore. Even sehwag should be dropped. Any international side worth its salt must understand there are not just bowling and batting involved. There is something called fielding as well. Ganguly had been a burden for quite sometime. Ganguly’s wicket was taken for granted in every match. Either he should have gone back to basics or stepped down graciously.
    Yes, chappell is pigheaded. But it takes a man like him to kick out a man like Ganguly.
    Ganguly’s episode was badly handled. Ganguly was also partly responsible for this. He very well know he doesn’t fit in the future scheme of things. If there is some thing called non-playing captain just like in Davis cup, I would be happy to have Ganguly in the team. Otherwise no.
    Few mainly Bengalis cry foul about the manner in which ganguly was dropped. What about Azharuddin (most successful captain before Ganguly) who was dropped following a test hundred? (I am not a hyderabadi) If the match fixing is the reason, what happenned to the case.
    Stop writing things like bengali angle was forced. What should others think when u supported SA and booed Rahul Dravid when the match was played in Kolkatta. People preferring a human instead of a nation. Bravo!!!

    Carressing the ball to square boundaries, towering sixes – a delight to watch i agree. I have video clippings for that since i no longer can see it live. Ppl like u argue the same team which ganguly built back-stabbed him. Hell with your the-security-guard-of-the-bank-can-steal-the-locker attitude. If Ganguly wants India to progress, I think he can cheer the team from the pavilion along with fellow Indian fans not from the dressing room.

  67. ram: agree completely. i even discussed with my office mates over the last few weeks the same idea; make gangs the xiith man and captain, just like in davis cup.

    – s.b.

  68. seriously i haven’t seen a more stupid post than this one from you Great Bong. No one other than a Bengali is cribbing for Ganguly. What the hell… do u people want a separate country…. every bengali i have interacted in last few months is saying that they wish india Loses so badly so that ganguly is called back… i don’t really understand what is wrong with u guys…. how can u even think something like that…
    and i can never forget that match in eden gardens where the dismissal of Dravid in the match against SA (was it i m not sure) was cheered as if it was the dismissal of Inzmam-ul-haq playing against india…
    Why can’t u think above ur stupid bengal… Grow up…. india is ur country… remember that…

    And u all stupid people just supporting his CRAP… start using little brains before u write….

  69. What the hell… do u people want a separate country…. every bengali i have interacted in last few months is saying that they wish india Loses so badly so that ganguly is called back… i don’t really understand what is wrong with u guys…. how can u even think something like that

    Oh wise one, could you kindly point out where I said India deserves to lose without Ganguly and I wish it keeps on losing.

  70. Hey GB don’t worry about stupid people.
    I don’t care a bit about this Bengali, non bengali issue.

    Ganguly is a great player. The man who should be shown the door is Greg ‘Chappal’. I had enough somebody should tell him that Gangauly was the most successful and admired captain and speaking shit against him is an insult to us indians. I am a non bengali and I want India to loose as long as Greg is the coach.

  71. “An ideal (or idiot??) boy”, ur comment goes on to show how stupid you are in placing individuals above the sport. And u call the others “stupid”..huh!

  72. I want to stress about a big picture here not just the ganguly issue. Many a times, people have this attitude. I call it the-security-guard-of-the-bank-can-steal-the-locker attitude.
    The security guard takes care of the safety of the bank and even risk his life in defending it. So, people start saying see the security guard he is ready to give his life for the safety, why not he steal some money from the bank. After all he is the one who guarded it.
    When we are a fan of some body or some thing, common sense doesn’t prevail. We simply support the actions. Even if it is against something because of which we became a fan.
    Arnab-Ganguly, Myself-Rajnikanth, Congress party members-Nehru family, the list goes on.
    I would suggest you guys read “Animal Farm” book by George Orwell. Though it is an anti-communist book. Those who blindly support somebody has a lesson in it.
    Having said all this, I seriously pray that cricket should lose it charm so that other games also get its share of attention.

  73. I got this from a 12-year-old…….who was born in NY, and now lives and studies in Delhi, a bong by birth (can’t speak a whole sentence in bengali), hates bongs in general and until some time back was the harshest critic of Sourav Ganguly.
    I thought it’s quite relevant with the topic……that’s why I felt like sharing it with you guys, including with Arnab…..

    ///////////
    1st of all i must make it clear that i am not a fan of ganguly.But I must protest the injustice done to him.
    I always used to think him as 1 of the weakest guys in our squad and didnt think him worthy of the captaincy role in the beginning.But all that changed since the 2nd test vs Australia at Kolkata in march 2001.He showed his brilliance in the way chose bhajji just at the rite moments to bowl out the kangaroos.Following year at Champions trophy in Sri Lanka,the way he contained South Africa in the last 10 overs was absolutely amazing.Just imagine keeping Klusner being able to hit just 1 or 2 sixes in the last 10 overs and almost no boundries.How was this achieved??Sourav brought Viru into the attack.I wonder how many captains wud hav dared such a thing against the South Africans when Graem Smith(or may be it was sumone else) was on the verge of gettin a 100.Nobody,not even Kallis had any answer to ganguly’s bowling attack.
    Following year,India reached the World Cup Finals.
    Next year India makes history with their 1st overseas series win in decades and better yet that too against pakistan in pakistan.
    All these achievments just go to show Ganguly’s brilliance as a cricketing strategist.
    Sure Dravid is also giving India many victories,but i doubt it is dravid doing all the thinking here.Remember hu is sitting behind him-Chappell.It is Chappell hu is doing all the experiments with the batting order and bringing youngsters to the team.Dravid’s role is just confined to the field settings for which too i am sure he follows instructions from chappell.So basically it is’nt Dravis hu is captain here its chappell.Dravid is the puppet here.And as for More-I think he’s a sick frustrated constipated dimwit hu’s role in indian cricket should be confined to washing the sweaty towels in the dressing room after play.Politics has just taken out the joy from this Gentleman’s game.
    ////////

    This is how an innocent 12-year-old schoolboy born and being brought up in different places in mixed cultures looks at the whole scenario…….things can’t be more impartial and neutral than this……..that is , at least what I feel……you may or may not agree to it.

  74. hi great bong, i committed a very big mistake today. i deleted my own name from the members section of the settings option in my dashboard. Due to this my entire blog is nw inaccessible by myself and i cannot post anylonger. I am making a new blog nw and will definately let u knw the new one. plz do visit that.
    diana

  75. Well said Bong but i have only one contention, your view that Dravid is happy to see Dada out of the team.

    Rest all is to the mark…

  76. Let me tell you that i am not a Bengali but i am a Major Fan of DADA. And i am one of the minority who thinks that his best feat in the Natwest Trophy was not waving his Shirt on the Lords balcony but the smashbuckling start he gave the Indian innings while the middle order (led by Dravid) failed spectaculary before Kaif & Yuvraj ensured Victory.

    For me Ganguly SHALL ALWAYS BE THE INDIAN CAPTAIN and i just hope we can have him back in the team. ALAS !!!

  77. I am a bit disappointed, I have to say.
    Any time Arnab writes a post on Ganguly, I wait with a lot of expectations that soon some person or another will bring the Bengali angle and how they hate Bengalis because we are so parochial. Then I make my non-bong friends read those comments because they have been taking this stand for years now that there is no bong hatred in existence and that we bongs are just paranoid and imagine those things… and get this… BECAUSE we are so full of ourselves (isn’t that a pure Bob Dole moment? “I just can’t win”. Remember that ad?). The fun that follows is amazing. You should see how hard they have to work in order to try to wriggle out of the hole. The latest explanation from one of my friends was, “You guys (Bongs) deliberately provoke non-bongs so that they have no choice but to react violently”. We drank to that that night. BTW, these are very close friends of mine and all this is done in good humor. You have no idea what hell they gave me for weeks after the Eden Gardens episode.
    It is also true that I am a bit perverted and get immense pleasure in reading those froth-in-the-mouth hate notes. I find them just plain amusing.
    I am disappointed because even with so many comments to this post, I haven’t really found any new yummy kind of hate notes from the readers here. It has been a while that I have bugged my friends, you know? 😦

  78. @ynot:
    Well asshole, I find it a tad tough calling 11 overpaid individuals (sorry 12, if I say overpaid, he should be the first one to make it) by the name “nation”.
    If you wake up in the morning and feel so “patriotic” that you can’t hold all of it inside you- you’re free to go Kashmir expose your ass to AK47s. If that sounds too difficult- quit whining about how patriotic you are and how parochial somebody else in on a blog.
    P.S. for all blog-pehelwaan-patriots- booing Ganguly started as early as his first year in ODI cricket- when he was performing way better than even Dravid. (Example-Bombay crowd- first ball dismissal to Chaminda Vaas yorker.) There’s a saying in Bengali: Chorer mayer boro gala (The thief’s mommy usually has the loudest voice).

  79. Dear Arnab,

    I know it hurts! But frankly Ganguli sucked as a player for long. He was like what Kapil Dev was during his last leg of career. I am big fan of Kapil, but I think he should have hung his boots after the 1992 tour of Australia.

    FRankly there was not enough talent during early nineties to displace Kapil. But look at it there are too many players who will do better than Ganguly at this point of time. Saurav may have had his place under sun, but now it’s dusk for him.

    I understand how you feel. But checkout Ganguly’s record minus his performances against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. You will understand….

    John

  80. Anon! We are taking about patriotism here, a big F*&$ . See how these bengalies are united so fast on such a itzy-bitzy-tiny-mini issue. We’ll kill our neighbor for getting a penny. We have to learn a lot from bengal and these bengalies.

  81. Arnabda, these lines written by you so many months ago almost seem as if you had a vision of Sourav’s magnificent return.

    “But then you fought back. Just like the time you first came into international cricket. You were too raw then. You deserved to be dropped. And then when the time came at Lords 1996, you were ready. Just like you are now. However your enemies (and you have a huge number of them) are not going to let you come back—simply because they cannot afford you embarrassing them with a performance; like you did to those naysayers (Ravi Shastri et al) who called you a “regional selection” in 1996.”

    For once I’m glad that you were wrong about Sourav’s final departure though. 🙂

  82. The fucker called Prem writes in Rediff:

    “The wicket was doubly important because it was Yuvraj who provided the momentum, while Ganguly continued to bat well within himself. The senior player had in fact almost batted himself into a comatose state, even against the spinners. The Bangladesh spinners and fielders did very well against him, by throwing themselves around, negating his best shots, and attacking the ball with such vigor that try as he would, Ganguly couldn’t even turn the strike over.”

    Same old stuff. Never say anything abour SRT. But SG, even though hes the best player on form in this Indian side, just has to be criticized. He was playing according to the situation. And how difficult was batting initially. Which is better, to make a cameo 20 ball 30 or play according to play the sheet anchor and keep wickets in hand for players like Dhoni to launch into the bowling?

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