Sourav Ganguly is widely regarded as one of India’s greatest ever captain. Ganguly completely changed the aspect of Indian cricket and introduced fearlessness within his side. He became captain of India during a difficult time as the side was struggling amidst the 2000 match-fixing saga.
Sachin Tendulkar had resigned from captaincy duties and Ganguly was given the leadership. Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) chief Ashok Malhotra recalled an interesting story about how Ganguly became captain of the side.
How Sourav Ganguly became Indian captain?
Malhotra was part of the selection panel that elected Ganguly to lead the Indian side. The ‘Prince of Calcutta’ in the end left, behind the likes of Anil Kumble and Ajay Jadeja and became the leader of team India.
He said, “See, if I remember correctly, picking Sourav Ganguly as vice-captain was a tougher job. I remember we picked him in Calcutta and the coach had some things to say – drinks too much Coke, takes singles but not twos, etc. In the bargain, I said having a Thumbs Up does not disqualify him as vice-captain.”
“And then we had quite a big discussion. 3-2 was voted in favour of Sourav as vice-captain. But then, I won’t name the President, but he walked into the selection, which has never happened in the history of the BCCI. And he and the Chairman told us, ‘Gentlemen, let’s do some rethinking”, Malhotra told Sportskeeda in a Facebook Live interview.
“None of us knew Sourav Ganguly would become the captain because Sachin was the captain then. But once he resigned, we had to convince everyone to make him captain because Anil Kumble and Ajay Jadeja were in line. I had to work overtime”, he further added.
Meanwhile, the decision, in the end, turned out to be game-changer for Indian cricket. Ganguly as captain created a core unit in the squad that contributed in wins both home and overseas for several years.
Sourav Ganguly led the Indian team in 146 ODI matches, winning 76 of them. In the longest format of the game, Ganguly captained the side in 49 matches winning 21 of them. Ganguly is currently the BCCI President and remains one of the most prominent figures in Indian Cricket.