Dada, the name which the world affectionately calls Sourav Ganguly and rightly so, has been a man of few words but discernible actions. An individual who has managed to leave a mark on quite a diverse number of fields, ranging from sports to entertainment. Considering his contribution as just ‘huge’ would be an unforgiving understatement.
Ganguly’s name has been etched in the history of cricket along with legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Steve Waugh, making him no less legendary. He is believed to be one the best things to have happened to the Indian cricket team.
When the cricket scene at the beginning of the century was being tarnished with allegations of match-fixing and players being banned, Ganguly took up the responsibility to lead the team with the glorious pack of Dravid, Tendulkar and Anil Kumble.
Ganguly’s faith in young players, his ability to recognize the prodigies and his risk-assessment capabilities to push them through into the line-up at the expense of replacing seasoned players, is what made him a man of mettle.
His belief in Yuvraj Singh paid off in the NatWest triangular series Final at Lord’s in 2002. Till this date, we relive Ganguly’s war-dance by taking his shirt off on the prestigious grounds of Lords- an iconic expression of joy that was completely justified. In one of the most daunting eras of Indian cricket, Ganguly fought like a true general with his soldiers, and emerged victorious.
Few of the most remembered matches played by India was under the captain-ship of our beloved Dada, making him a model captain to idolize. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is said to be the recent version of the original ‘Captain Cool’. He was a man whose sincere smile never missed to touch a million hearts and whose unforgiving nature and hopes of fighting until the end inspired many young cricketers.
After retiring from International Cricket in 2008, Ganguly went on to play for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. Such was his influence, that in 2011 when KKR did not bid for him, a group of almost 2500 people, called ‘NO DADA, NO KKR’, organized a silent protest as a token of solidarity with Sourav Ganguly.
His involvement is not only restricted to cricket. Ganguly co-owns Atlético de Kolkata, a football franchise of the Indian Super League. His support for the upliftment of various sports in India other than cricket, has been enormous and very encouraging. He has never shied away from being the face of his football team for better viewership and audience-reach.
Presently, he has also been dabbling in the entertainment industry as a popular game-show host which has been named after him (‘Dadagiri’) on the leading Bengali entertainment channel, Zee Bangla.
On his birthday today, we would to wish him luck for his future endeavours and hope that our beloved twinkle-eyed Dada never ceases to be such an awesome human being.