One of the most successful national captains in the sport, Sourav Ganguly official took over as BCCI president on 23 October. On Monday, 14 October, he had filed his nominations.
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) October 14, 2019
Ganguly, 47, was the only candidate to file his nomination for the top post after being unanimously chosen as the presidential candidate at a meeting of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) members in Mumbai on Sunday. Here we take a look at his journey where he's donned different hats, on and off the field, all in service of cricket.
1992- ODI debut
Following his debut for Bengal in domestic cricket in 1989, Ganguly's potential shone quickly. After a particularly heavy run-scoring Ranji Trophy season in 1990-91, he received a maiden ODI call-up against the West Indies in Brisbane. However, he could manage just three runs on his debut in a losing cause. Further, those in the team management were quick to point out Ganguly's ego issues — he refused to carry drinks for the players — and he was shown the way out of the ODI set up in a jiffy.
1996- Test debut
Ganguly took the ouster from the national side in his stride and continued piling up runs for Bengal in the domestic circuit. He toiled away in the Ranji Trophy for three years to ensure that his name could not be ignored for selection. Sure enough, Ganguly was recalled to the national team, this time, for the Test side's tour of England in 1996. His debut came in the first Test of the series, at the Lord's Cricket Ground, in arguably the most trying conditions for any touring team. However, all the hard work in the domestic circuit paid off and Ganguly struck 131, a maiden Test century while batting at No 3, anchoring his side's first innings' effort to help them reach 429. The Test match was drawn eventually. More importantly, Ganguly kept letting his bat do the talking. For the ODI leg of the same tour, Ganguly was promoted to the top of the order and formed a destructive opening pair with Sachin Tendulkar.
2000 - ODI and Test captaincy
The match-fixing saga of 1999-2000 compromised some of the senior players' positions in the team. Sachin Tendulkar was the initial choice for captain but backed out of the role, which meant that the role was Ganguly's to fulfill. He proved adept at managing a group of young individuals and inculcating in them, the desire to win and not just produce face-saving draws away from home. Under his stewardship, India won the 2002 NatWest series. The winning moment at the final in Lord's was preserved in cricketing lore courtesy Ganguly choosing to take off his shirt and brandish it like a sword in his ecstasy after Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif had rescued India from the brink of defeat. The highlight of this phase of Ganguly's career was India reaching the finals of the 2003 ODI World Cup, the first since 1983, eventually losing to Australia.
2005 - Rift with Greg Chappell and end of stint as captain
Soon as he had attained the heights of his career and was being hailed as the 'blue-eyed boy of Indian cricket' and the 'Prince of Kolkata', his personal form dipped dramatically. That coincided with Greg Chappell's ascension to the role of the head coach. The differences between the coach and captain were quick to manifest, Chappell terming Ganguly as "mentally and physically unfit to lead the team". A truce was brokered by a BCCI committee but Ganguly's poor scores in the 2005 tour of Zimbabwe saw him losing first, the captaincy to Rahul Dravid, and then, his spot in the side.
2006 - Return to the national team
10 months later, Ganguly was recalled to the side for the tour of South Africa and emerged as the highest run-getter, accumulating 214 runs in the three-Test series for India, albeit in a losing cause. Following the somewhat successful return to the Test format, Ganguly was recalled to the ODIs and continued his riposte. Batting against the West Indies in Nagpur in his ODI comeback, Ganguly scored a breezy 98 as India went on to post 338, winning the match by 14 runs. The Bengal batsman soon began to acclimatise to his new role in the national side, sans the leadership responsibility. A Test ton followed soon, against Bangladesh in Chittagong, his third in over three and a half years. The hallmark of this phase was Ganguly scoring 249 runs at a fine average of 49.80 in the three-Test series, away from home, against England. The fact that India won that series 1-0 further went on to prove Ganguly's importance in the Test side.
2008 - International retirement
2007 was the year of firsts for Ganguly. He scored his first Test century at his home ground Eden Gardens, which was followed by his first double ton, against Pakistan in Bengaluru. Ganguly accumulated 534 runs in that three-Test series to emerge as the leading run-scorer, India also winning the series 1-0. However, that was followed by a somewhat lean Test series against Australia, away from home, and he was dropped for the Commonwealth Bank ODI series subsequently on that tour. There were talks doing the rounds that the team management, instigated by India's shock ouster in the initial stages of the 2007 ODI World Cup, was eager to show the door to the elder statesmen and bring in some fresh faces into the ODI squad. Ganguly seemed to have read the writing on the wall and ahead of the first Test of the home series against Australia for the 2008 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he announced that it would be his last hurrah in international cricket.
2015 - President of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB)
Since his retirement from international cricket, Ganguly had assumed administrative roles in various capacities, most notably serving with the CAB cricket committee. Coaching-cum-mentoring roles in the Indian Premier League (IPL) followed soon after and he dived full-length into the administrative side of things after announcing his retirement from the IPL in 2012. Ganguly was elected to take over the post of president of the CAB in 2015.
23 October 2019 - President of BCCI
Ganguly leads the charge with a bunch of fresh faces set to be elected to the BCCI in leadership roles. Ganguly filed his nomination as the BCCI president and it was confirmed that he will take over as the president for a tenure of nine months. Ganguly has talked about his plan of action as the president of the cricket body, foremost being to restore the prestige of the BCCI which marred in allegations of corruption for over three years when the Supreme Court had to intervene. He has also talked about ensuring better prize money for first-class cricketers.
With inputs from AFP
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