1991, India tour Australia : A young man named Saurav Ganguly made a disastrous debut….. to follow it up, some articles here and there in the media regarding his failiure……. and the selectors on there part do the predictable…..drop him from the national side. At this time most would have thought that this young kid would ever show up in the indian line up.
1996, India tour England : A matured young man Saurav Ganguly selected for the Indian test team makes his sparkling test debut, brilliant batting display studded with breathtaking drives in the offside becomes an instant star in a nation mad about its cricket and cricketers…… to follow it up delivers consistent performances throughout the tour….. and the selectors on there part do the predictable again, gave him a chance in the ODI’s where he soon becomes the king of the offside…. one of the most dangerous opener… the maharaj of indian cricket…with Sachin Tendulkar he formed the best opening pair of there era. Saurav Ganguly is a suprstar.
2001, Australia tour India : An Ambitious Saurav Ganguly is now the indian captain and in his eyes has a dream to conqour the world, but infront is the challange of facing the world beaters the world champions Australia, the optimistic few gave india an outside chance, in the 3 test series, india are 1-0 down after the first test, most predict a walkover by the world champions yet again….. but a new indian team has just got its saviours, heroes are born out of people whose selection in the team was doubtful, indian team has got over the world champions, and the world, the leadership shows the team is a unit to contend with…. indian teams success was credited to saurav’s aggressive attitude with reflected on indian team….Saurav Ganguly was an instant star again as indian Captain… India Loves Saurav Ganguly.
From 2001 to 2004, Saurav Ganguly was a captain of the indian cricket team which seemed hungry for success, had some of the senior players – best in the business Sachin and Rahul, and the young brigade which Ganguly had very carefully built- Sehwag, Bhajji, Yuvraj, Kaif, Zaheer, Pathan. India performance shows in beating Pakistan in Pakistan, beating England in much hyped Natwest final, winning champions trophy, and reaching the World Cup 2003 finals.
2004-2005, A Desperate Saurav Ganguly was now more of a Captain than a performer, his performance had started dipped some of the so called experts found glitches in his batting technique (which evidently was there since he had started playing), this man who gave up his opening slot in ODI’s for the team, the man who persisted with some of the current indian players in there not so good times and was critisized for the same. The man was now under pressure to keep his place in the side, some of the so called experts wanted him to step down…… One of them was current Indian Coach Greg Chappel, who infact told him to step down and wrote a secret email to the BCCI to remove him as the National Captain. In the mean time Saurav Ganguly had now become the most successful indian captain and led india to its first overseas series win after 19 years. …… despite this slectors give more importance to the email sent by the coach …. and drop Saurav Ganguly from the Indian team…. despite some disappointment among some die hard Saurav fans (i m not one of those) the nation takes this decision as a step forward.
late 2005: A brave Saurav Ganguly, makes a comeback into the national team on the back of some good performances, his performance in the second test after the first was washed off was more than satisfactory considering the kind of resolve he showed…. but the selectors this time have done the unpredictable, excluded Saurav from the team which will face Lanka in Ahemadabad.
The entire nation is in shock over this paethetic decision, only because this time around Saurav did not deserve this the reasons for this decision are non cricketing… to me the reason is that man called Greg Chappell who gave his 5 reasons, each of which could be well debated and beaten, for ousting Saurav Ganguly at this point of time. A man who himself does not have basic manners and dignity to respect the public in a democratic country (the incidence where he made indecent gesture at a group of Saurav fans) and then does not have the guts to accept his wrong doing (him denying making that gesture) was given more importance than a man who gave the best 15 years of his life to this nation, and brought home never before glory and success to the nation as far as cricket was concerned.
Now my intent in writing this is not that i am a die hard fan of Saurav Ganguly, but as an Indian when i think and analyse this whole episode it raises this Question, that Is it a Sin to be a Hero in Indian Cricket ?
……I leave this Question to be answered by all u indians who felt proud evertime india won in the last 5 years of Saurav’s Captaincy.
a hurt Indian Cricket Fan