Wed, 7 Apr 2021

Biggest setback of my career: Sourav Ganguly on captaincy sacking in 2005

Sourav Ganguly is seen as one of the finest captains to have ever played the gentleman's game. Having taken over the reins at what was arguably the toughest period of Indian cricket, Ganguly went on to groom one of the finest generation of players that Indian cricket has ever seen. Despite being celebrated for his leadership all over the globe, Ganguly was stripped of his captaincy duties in 2005 by the then coach Greg Chappell, a moment he has termed as 'the biggest setback' of his career.

"You just have to deal with it. It's the mindset that you get into. Life has no guarantees, be it in sport, business or whatever. You go through ups and downs. You just have to bite the bullet. Pressure is a huge thing in everybody's life. All of us go through different pressures."

Sourav Ganguly

Ganguly spoke about the 'absolute injustice' in his illustrious cricketing career. Having returned from a victorious tour of Zimbabwe, sacking was the last thing Ganguly expected.

That was the biggest setback of my career. It was an absolute injustice. I know you can’t get justice all the time but even then that treatment could have been avoided. I was the captain of the team which had just won in Zimbabwe and I get sacked after returning home?"

Ganguly had led the Indian team to the 2003 World Cup final where they were beaten by Australia. Hoping to go one step further the next time, the Prince of Kolkata was hoping to lead the Indian team to glory in the 2007 World Cup but things took such a drastic turn that he found it difficult to even find a spot in the team consistently.

I dreamt of winning the 2007 World Cup for India. We had lost in the final the previous time. I had reasons to dream too. The team had played so well under me for the last five years whether it was home or away. Then you suddenly drop me? First, you say I’m not in the ODI side, then you drop me from the Test team too,” Ganguly said.

The 48-year-old believes that his career started to go downhill after Chappell's e-mail to the board about him was 'leaked'. While there's no denying the love-hate relationship between Ganguly and Chappell, the former doesn't believe in blaming the Aussie alone for the catastrophe his career witnessed after 2005.

Ganguly made a comeback in the Indian team in 2006 on the tour of South Africa, after being dropped a year ago, and emerged as one of the most consistent performers. He continued to perform for a couple of more years before hanging up his boots in 2008. With more than 11,000 runs in ODIs and 7,000 runs in Tests, Ganguly goes down in history as one of the finest servants of Indian cricket whose legacy is talked about even more than a decade after his retirement.

Commenting on bio-bubbles, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has said that Indians are "more tolerant" to deal with mental health issues than cricketers from countries like England and Australia.

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