|BORN||July 8, 1972|
|BIRTH PLACE||Calcutta, Bengal|
|BATTING STYLE||Left Handed|
|BOWLING STYLE||Right-arm medium|
Regarded as one of India’s most successful captains in modern times, Sourav Ganguly will be best remembered for his elegant cricketing style and vast contribution to cricket in India in a career spanning around 15 long years. He was not only India's most successful overseas Test captain, but also ensured he infuse an unknown term in Indian cricket - aggression. The 2003 World Cup final would always be his biggest achievement where most of the critics did not give India much chance.
The “Prince of Kolkata” went on to become one of the greatest ODI batsmen of all time, although his career halted at intervals. He became an effective Test captain, carving a bunch of young and talented players into a winning unit. His stroke play was a combination of grace and precision, and his domination on the off-side masked him as the “God of off side”. While his critics opined that he was unable to face bouncers, others were amazed by his marvelous ability to galvanize the field on the off side with crystal clear precision. Together with Sachin Tendulkar, he formed one of the most damaging opening pairs in ODI cricket history. However, he was always under the hammer for his lack of fitness and athleticism.
“Dada” as he is fondly known, took over as the captain of the Indian team at a time when the game of cricket was disrupted with match-fixing allegations in 2000. Ganguly emerged as a tough, able and an adamant leader, who took his team to miraculous heights, winning Test matches away from home. India continued to be on the winning streak right till the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup finals. Soon after, his career saw a downfall as the loss of his personal form coincided with India’s bland ODI performances and a new leader arrived in the form of Rahul Dravid. A fallout with Greg Chappell, the coach he himself suggested to the BCCI resulted and it looked like that was it. Surprisingly, he made a splendid comeback after being axed from captaincy and continued his prolific scoring in Test cricket. The “Maharaja” finally retired from international cricket in 2008 after playing his last Test against Australia at home.
Post retirement, Ganguly continued to play cricket for his state team, Bengal and also signed up with Kolkata in 2008 for the Indian T20 League. He represented the franchise till 2010, but was, shockingly left out of the 2011 auctions as none of the franchises bid for him; until Pune signed him in place of an injured Ashish Nehra. The following year, he led his franchise in absence of regular skipper Yuvraj Singh, and also became the mentor of his team. Dada soon took to commentary as well. He still remains an integral part of Indian cricket, serving as a member of the Cricket Advisory Committee.