For the last innings
It was just a few days before that I wrote about the KING returning to his playground. Never in my worst dreams would I have thought that soon I will have to write a farewell letter to him. Alas! That’s the way life goes.
He came, he saw and he conquered. Now he retire. He say he is retiring because it’s time. He say there is no external pressure. If he says, we will have to believe it.
But the “dark hands” (if they exist) you got to be reminded of something. He won’t be under the control of BCCI for long. After he retires, he is a free man. He might come out and speak the truth that happened. Why he decided to quit. And if those truths in someway lead back to your hands , consider yourself unfortunate. Not because it’s going to hurt your image, but because what you are going to experience then will be such that will make you wish you were never born.
Let me stop this kind of speech. There is a time for this later. My heart is now greaved. I can’t bear to think of his last innings. I can’t see him returning to the pavilion with a silent message that he won’t come back again. He was the most important part of cricket for me for long. And when he goes, cricket no longer exists.
I wish to talk of the career of Ganguly. Why it’s the most talked of career? Why is it going to be the part of cricketing history? Why is it called the golden period of Indian cricket?
Ganguly peaked his career during 1996-2000 before he was made the captain. He was the best batsman of the Indian team then. He came into the team in a test hundred in the debut. He became the faster indian to score 3000,4000,……,9000. A series worth remembering is one against Pakisthan which India 4-1. It was won single handedly by Ganguly. He took around 300 runs and 15 wickets and topped batting and bowling charts. He was the man of the match in all four games india won consecutively. He even now holds the record of most number of consecutive man of the matches. It’s just an example. There are many others too. The highest runs scored in a world cup match is his forte. Sri Lankans were the guys who had to withstand that slaughter. He scored 183 which helped India score a 371 which again helped India get the required run rate for entering the Super Six round.
Victory is always for the KING
With captaincy his batting performance declined. But considering other players, his batting was still world class. It just declined when compared to his own previous records. Many still think of what Ganguly’s batting scorecard would have been had he not been the captain. But my interest were never on this. It was Ganguly as a captain that astonished me. After the 1999 world Cup Australia went on a win-only-series-of-series. They won each and every test they played. The teams who played against them were afraid.Australians were considered as the ultimate and undefeatable team. It’s in this spirit that Aussies came to India. They expected a similar tense Indian team. But Ganguly proved to be just the opposite. He made Steve Waugh feel some pressure. He never believed Aussies are undefeatable and took special care not to let Aussies feel any kind of superiority. This was a new experience for the Aussies and they succumbed to it, loosing the series 1-2. Ganguly also led India to a World Cup Final, himself scoring a century in the semi final. He took Indian team to Australia. India was stuttering after 3 early wickets with a huge score to overtake. Ganguly came to the middle and scored 144 which is considered as his best Test Innings. He finished only when India were with a comfortable lead. He is also the first Indian to score a century in Australia against Australia.
Victory is for the Roaring Tiger
The rest of the story is about ups and downs, of misfortunes and comebacks. This is a story every single child in India and in all cricketing nation knows. So I am not going into that.
For India, Ganguly was the FORCE. The FORCE that united them, that made them strong, that made them realise their own strength, and that led from front. YES, GANGULY IS RIGHTLY CALLED THE BEST CAPTAIN.
HATS OFF TO YOU, Oh! GOD OF OFF SIDE.
IN YOU WE FOUND A NEW SPIRIT, AN URGE TO CONQUER, A ROAR TO DEFEAT. HOPE YOU CAN CONTINUE TO TO SHOWER IT AROUND TILL THE END. WAITING FOR BENGAL TIGER TO ROAR IN ALL THE REMAINING MATCHES.
A Loyal Fan inspired by your Attitude.