Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian captain, and the current BCCI(Board of Control of Cricket in India) president is celebrating his 50th today, July 8. It was only after Ganguly that Indian Cricket was able to emerge from the scandals and produce historic victories against the major forces. That is why he is affectionately called the ‘Maharaja’ and ‘Dada’ of Indian Cricket.
Ganguly made his remarkable Test debut in 1996 and he became named India’s captain in 2000. Ganguly is credited with assembling a strong line-up including the 2001 iconic home Test series victory in Pakistan and the 2003 ODI World Cup final.
During his batting career, he established himself as one of the leading batsmen and the most successful captain in Indian cricket history. Ganguly has played 113 Tests and 311 ODIs, scoring 7212 and 11363 runs respectively. 49 of those 113 tests were played as a captain. He had led India in 195 games across all formats and he had succeeded in winning 97 games. He was the most successful Indian Test captain for a long time (21 Test victories) before MS Dhoni surpassed his number in 2013. In addition to that, he recorded 72 fifties and 35 half-centuries in Test Cricket.
He was especially prolific on the off-side while batting and earned the nickname of God of the Off Side with his elegant stroke play. He was involved in a partnership of 318 runs with Rahul Dravid in the 1999 Cricket World Cup, which remains the highest overall partnership score in World Cup history. Currently, he is the 8th highest run-scorer in ODI and the 3rd batsman in history to cross 10000 runs.
As soon as Dada took over as captain, he began developing young players, and it is a credit to his leadership that players like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, M. S. Dhoni, and Zaheer Khan are today.
On the domestic level, he captained Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League in 2008. He was awarded Padma Shri, the highest Indian civilian award, in 2004. In October 2019, Ganguly was sworn in as President of the BCCI.
On Dada’s 50th Birthday, from players to fans, congratulatory messages are flooding over the internet. Yuvraj Singh, the former all-rounder of India, took the lead in congratulating Ganguly, calling him a ‘wonderful buddy’ and ‘impactful captain’.
Sachin Tendulkar, the God of Cricket, shared his memories with Ganguly on Twitter through a video.
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