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Thread: The Life And Times Of Sourav Ganguly

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    Default The Life And Times Of Sourav Ganguly





    Ganguly has had his share of ups and downs, typical of the life of any cricketer, but what has separated him and his now 40 years from that of others is the sheer belief in himself to perform beyond human capabilities.

    A natural stroke player who dedicated every bit of himself in gathering a team out of the bits and pieces that he was provided with, turned out to be India's guiding light in arguably their toughest spell.

    Here is a look at one of the greatest journeys in world cricket.



    Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gayee Ho
    Kismat Pe Naa Aaaye Yakeen....

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    As a child, Sourav showed keen interest in football; his cricketing skills were always considered second to his brother Snehasish. While at a very young age, cricket for Ganguly just used to be a reason of staying away from his home and studies. Though he was never a bad student, his interest in sports always overwhelmed all other activities.




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    Sourav Ganguly's career started out of his ability to question himself. After seeing his brother attain great local appreciation, Sourav asked himself the question that why could he not play cricket. The answer unfolded in the coming years which saw him making an appearance in the Ranji Trophy final at the Eden Gardens against Delhi, at the expense of his very own brother.









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    In an era where the memory of the 1983 World Cup lit an otherwise gleam Indian cricket, Sourav made his debut against the Windies in 1992. His innings was shortlived and so was his stay in the national side; Ganguly was dropped for four very long years.




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    The exclusion of Ganguly immediately provoked the thought of Team India's inability to gamble on another youngster in a side which already had Sachin in it. His exclusion was soon forgotten, but the man instead was staging first of his the many comebacks he made in almost a two-decade long career.




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    The Eden Gardens have always embraced the Prince of Kolkata and coincidently it was the legendry stadium that triggered an opening in the national side. In the World Cup semi final in 1996, the Indian side crumbled in front of a powerful Sri Lankan bowling line-up, the Indian team needed a breath of fresh air; something that Dada brought along with him.




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    India was scheduled to tour England and the selectors were hunting for a seamer-all rounder due to the heavy conditions. The selectors realised that getting someone to match the caliber of Kapil Dev was a far-fetched dream and chose to pick up Ganguly.







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    Dada was an instant success in the first Test against England; while chasing a first innings score of 344, Ganguly scored a 131 run-innings which put England on the back foot. His flamboyance pleased even more than his score, proving to be an indication of things to come. Ganguly himself claims that the mindset that he had during that innings is unmatched even after 16 years.




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    Team India's Toronto tour was a career-defining moment for Ganguly. Performing exceedingly well with the bat and the ball, Ganguly won four consecutive man of the match awards. He soon became the spine of India's middle order and more than just a part-timer while bowling.




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    In 1999, Sourav Ganguly played his first World Cup match and scored 97 against South Africa, 3 runs short of a World Cup debut century.




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    Sourav went on to score over 400 runs in the tournament, with the most significant of innings coming against Sri Lanka. He scored a mammoth 183 runs to put the islanders out of contention for the Super Six stage. The match also ended the career of the 1996 World Cup winning skipper Arjuna Ranatunga.




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    Post World Cup, the most shameful of controversies then hit Indian cricket, several senior players were named in the alleged match-fixing scandal. This started a tough spell for Team India, whose reputation as a whole had gone down the drain.




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    Sourav was handed the captaincy of the Indian cricket team. He claimed that he was rather unprepared for speaking at team meetings but his mindset and his experience shone to earn him the tag of being a 'Born Leader'.




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    Bogging down was never a part of Sourav's personality and he proved it in the upcoming tours. He led India to some of the most amazing victories in India and overseas.




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    Ganguly married his childhood sweetheart Dona and the two had a daughter; Sana. But with success mounting, Ganguly was guilty on several occasions of having no time for his family.




    Kaise Mujhe Tum Mil Gayee Ho
    Kismat Pe Naa Aaaye Yakeen....

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