New Delhi: Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, who was regarded as 'God of off-side' by Rahul Dravid, made many spectacular contributions in the field of cricket and continues to do so as Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President. As the left-handed batter turned 50 today, let's turn some pages of his almost two-decade-long career.
Ganguly during his stint on the field has been known for his unique leadership style. Popularly known as 'Dada', he made his Test debut against England in the summer of 1996. He immediately made headlines as he went on to score a century in his maiden Test at Lord's.
Ganguly smashed a century in his second Test. Thus, he became the only third batsman to score a century in each of his first two innings.
The 'Prince of Kolkata' then announced himself in the ODI format as he won four consecutive Man of the Match awards in 1997 against Pakistan. In the 1999 World Cup, Ganguly played a knock of 183 runs against Sri Lanka and was involved in a 318-run partnership with Rahul Dravid.
In 2000, the Team India camp got trapped in a match-fixing scandal. Ganguly was then appointed the captain of the side, where he started grooming new talent.
Ganguly first led India to the finals of the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy. In 2001, another Team India achieved another milestone as the Ganguly-led side defeated Australia 2-1 in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
In the series, India was asked to follow on by the Steve Waugh-led Australian side, but VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid scripted one of the greatest comebacks for the Indian team.
The most memorable moment of Ganguly is undoubtedly when he took off his jersey at the Lord's balcony, when India famously beat England, from the jaws of defeat, in the finals of the 2002 Natwest Trophy.
The 48-year-old Ganguly had also guided India to the finals of the 2003 World Cup and the side just fell short in the summit clash against Australia.
He also led an ODI and Test series in Pakistan in 2004. The Test series victory was a first for India on Pakistani soil.
Ganguly also had a very infamous tussle in 2005-6 with then-coach Greg Chappell, after the 'Prince of Kolkata' was excluded from the Team India squad. However, Ganguly paved his way back to the side and registered a fifty-plus score in Johannesburg.
He played his last Test in 2008 against Australia in Nagpur. He continued playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but hung his boots from domestic cricket in 2012.
Dada had a career consisting of 113 Tests and 311 ODIs for India. The left-handed batsman scored 18,575 runs across all formats in his international career.
Ganguly is one of the main reasons for the emergence of the idea of day-night Test cricket in India. His efforts paid off as India played its first-ever day-night Test match against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in 2019.
He had led India in 195 matches across all formats and managed to win 97 matches out of those. The former skipper then went on to become the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and is now the President of the BCCI. (ANI)