More than eleven years ago in the middle of an English summer a gritty youngster took the field at Lord’s when the chips were down for his country. Batting with sublime poise at the grandest of stages that the game of cricket can offer to both players and spectators alike he scored a chanceless century braided with rare class. A repeat performance in the next test under conditions considered hostile to batsmen bred on docile dust-bowls in the sub-continent and the message was loud and clear. The message was,
“I have arrived.”
The very arrogance of that arrival never waned in a career which saw eleven eventful summers and is still to go some distance before coming to a natural halt, a graceful goodbye.
Sourav Chandidas Ganguly brought to Indian cricket a raw ruthlessness and an inspirational zeal hitherto unknown in these circles and galvanized a team into a formidable fighting unit. A captain known to possess an uncanny knack of spotting talent and nurturing them to the road to success, half of the present Indian team owes him his timely patronage and support. From Zaheer Khan to Harbhajan Singh, from Yuvraj Singh to Irfan Pathan every one was hand-picked during his regime. Not only did his tenure at the helm of affairs promote the blooding of ‘today’s stars’ it also lent a nonpartisan character to the much maligned ‘regional lobby’-culture which plagued Indian cricket from its inception. “Perform or Perish” was his mantra and in no time we were dreaming of new heroes emerging on the firmament of cricketing glory. The most successful captain of
We do not know to honor our heroes and it is not a tradition, here in
But, time had its say. Tables turned in a manner only known to wheels in animated motion and Sourav was re-inducted into the team. What looked like an ‘impossibility’ going by the vituperative comments issued by cricketing microbes hanging onto power (like Kiran More, the then chief-of-selection-committee) were proven wrong and a rightful path to resurrection was paved for a Fallen Hero. What ensued is there for everyone to see. The cricketing field has turned to be a happy-hunting-ground for the indefatigable ‘Dada’ as he continues relishing the exploits of a ‘deep purple patch’ walking into the twilight of his long illustrious career.
Sourav Ganguly has regained his seat of eminence in cricketing discussions and this time not due to uncalled for controversies but, because of the murderous feats of his tireless willow.
Taking the field for his 100th Test match he has today become only the seventh Indian ever to attain this honor. And what better place than the MCG on the day of the Boxing-day test match.
I wish him luck in his imperious march to more conquests on the cricket field.