Sourav Ganguly can rightly be attributed as the captain who changed the face of Indian cricket. He was the first Indian captain who instilled the belief in the team that they are world-beaters. India started developing the habit of winning overseas under Sourav Ganguly. But the man who shined so brightly for his fans and players had his fair share of controversies too.
Stumpsandbails brings out to you 5 major controversies of Sourav Ganguly’s career:
#5 The Prince who refused to carry drinks
During India’s tour of Australia in 1991-92, Sourav Ganguly made his ODI debut. It took another 4 years for Ganguly to make his Test debut for the Indian team. It is widely speculated that Ganguly was kept out of the team owing to disciplinary reasons. In a match where Ganguly was not part of the playing XI, he was asked to carry drinks for the team.
Surprisingly, Ganguly refused to perform his role of being the bench player and did not want to carry drinks for the team. Ganguly though dismissed the entire episode years later stating that the entire incident was planted by the manager, Ranbir Singh. He went on to add that it was such a shame that Indian cricket had managers like him.
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#4 Alleged Affair with actress Nagma
In 2001, when India were preparing to face the Australian team, there were rumors about Ganguly’s alleged affair with actress Nagma. It was speculated that the couple got secretly married in a temple. But Ganguly’s wife stood strong by him and refuted the rumors. Interestingly, Nagma, a couple of years later, acknowledged that the duo was in love but since Ganguly had a cricketing career at stake, he could not risk marrying her. She went to the extent of saying that the couple themselves had never denied not being romantically linked to each other.
#3 Missing a Test since the wicket had grass cover
This speculated theory has now become part of India’s cricketing folklore. When Australia toured India in 2004, they were leading the series 1-0 going into the 3rd Test. Nagpur was the venue for the 3rd Test and the pitch for the match had grass all over it. While Ganguly had been vocal about how the pitches should favor the home team but looking at the wicket having grass put off Ganguly and he skipped the Test match. Rahul Dravid, who captained India in his absence, noted that Ganguly has suffered a groin injury and hence couldn’t participate. But naysayers refused to buy this theory.
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#2 The Greg Chappell Episode
Greg Chappell’s stint as the Indian coach was one of the most volatile periods in Indian cricket. Chappell’s name was recommended to the selection panel by former captain, Sourav Ganguly. Ironically Chappell burnt bridges with Sourav Ganguly. Chappell told Ganguly that pressures of captaincy are affecting his batting. Ganguly after hitting a hard-working ton against Zimbabwe admitted that he was asked by the coach to resign. Chappell then wrote an e-mail to the board detailing how he and Ganguly were not on the same page. The whole drama ultimately resulted in Ganguly’s ouster as India’s captain.
#1 Making Steve Waugh wait at the toss
Steve Waugh had marked the tour of India as the final frontier for his all-conquering team who were on a 15 match winning run. But just when Waugh thought that the Indian side will roll over easily he was met by a strong opposition captain, Sourav Ganguly. Waugh was taken aback by the audacity shown by the young Indian captain. He even admitted to feeling frustrated having made to wait at the toss repeatedly throughout the tour. Ganguly denied the episode later but admitted that it might have happened on one odd occasion wherein he failed to find his blazer.