The on-field banter between former India captain Sourav Ganguly and ex-England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is known to all. There was bad blood between the two during their playing days and they did not get along. Some intense on-field clashes between them are still remembered, including Flintoff taking his shirt off at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium after England defeated India in an ODI game in 2002. Later the year, Ganguly responded in his own style with his iconic shirt-waving celebration at Lord’s balcony after India emerged victorious and stunned the hosts in their own backyard in the Natwest Trophy.
For India, the incident remains one of the most memorable celebrations by an Indian player overseas. It is also believed that the act showcased the fierce mindset and competitive nature of the Indian cricket team under Ganguly.
Flintoff and Dada were not the best of friends, but they loved facing each other on the field. In every encounter between Indian and England, both attempted to outdo the other. Recently, Flintoff’s former England teammate and fast bowler Steve Harmison recalled an incident that is another example of the ‘personal rivalry’ between the two players.
Harmison hosts several veteran cricketers on his show ‘Test of Time.’ During his interview with Australian star-spinner Brad Hogg, Harmison remembered that on his Test debut against India in 2002, he had dismissed Ganguly on 99. He denied Ganguly his hundred, during Nottingham Test when India was touring England.
Talking about the same, the former England pacer shared how Flintoff had ran back from the toilet just to abuse Ganguly. When the former Indian captain was dismissed, Flintoff was not present on the field. He ran back on the pitch with drinks in hand and exchanged a few heated words with Ganguly as he walked back.
Harmison further said that Ganguly was a “lovely guy”, but it was something about him that people did not get on with him. “He rubbed people off the wrong way,” said the former Australian spinner.