Let’s take a look at 12 unknown facts about the man who taught India to win, our very own Sourav ‘Dada’ Ganguly.
Sourav Ganguly will forever be remembered as the guy who inspired India to believe they can perform in overseas conditions, and ushered in a new era of Indian cricket by placing his faith in young cricketers. Sourav didn’t just captain India after the turmoil of the match-fixing scandal that threatened to derail Indian cricket, but he brought about a revolution, a change in mentality, a hunger, an undying belief embedded into the core of the Indian system that we were good enough to go shoulder-to-shoulder with the best teams in the world.
1. Sourav’s parents gave him the nickname ‘ Maharaj’ meaning ‘prince’. Perhaps they knew their son was born to lead. Later, Goeffrey Boycott fondly gave Sourav the nickname ‘The Prince of Calcutta’.
2. Sourav’s father, Chandidas Ganguly, runs a flourishing printing business, the 3rd largest in Asia, and the Ganguly’s are one of the richest families in the ‘City of Joy’. Sourav’s joint family home in Behala, a suburb in Southern Calcutta, has nearly 30 residing members with more than 45 rooms. Phew, talk about affluence!
3. Sourav is right handed – he writes right handed, bowls right handed, and basically does each and everything under the sun with his right hand! But because his brother Snehashish was left-handed, Sourav held the bat left-handed so that he could then use his elder brother’s kit.
4. Sourav was a huge football fan in his childhood(he still is!), and football was actually his first love! But due to Snehashish’s insistence, Sourav was enrolled into a cricket academy during his class 10 holidays. And thus one of India’s greatest cricketers began their journey.
5. Sourav replaced his elder brother Snehashish in the Bengal Ranji Trophy team. How ironical indeed!
6. Sourav made his debut against West Indies at Brisbane in 1992, but was consequently dropped from the side because of his rumored ‘ attitude’ problems. It is said that Sourav refused to carry drinks onto the field for a senior cricketer, which he has continuously denied till date.
7. Sourav got an opportunity in the second test at Lords against England in 1996 after Navjot Singh Sidhu departeded from the touring party, citing ill-treatment by the then captain Mohammed Azharuddin.
8. Sourav eloped with childhoot sweetheat Dona after the successful tour of England. All hell had broken loose, but the two families reconciled and a formal wedding took place on February 21, 1997.
9. Sourav is a deeply religious person and observes a fast every Tuesday. Yes, every tuesday!
10. There is an apartment complex in Calcutta, India which is named after Sourav. It is called the ‘Sourav Housing Complex’. Calcutta really knows how to respect their icons!
11. Following Sachin‘s footsteps, Sourav donned the entrepreneur’s hat and opened a three-storey restaurant, Sourav’s – The Food Pavilion in Calcutta’s posh locality Park Street. The restaurant was inaugurated by Sachin himself in 2004.
12. A 1.5 km road in Rajarhat in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal is named after Sourav. He himself unveiled a plaque containing the new name of the road, Sourav Ganguly Avenue, at a function organized by the Rajarhat Gopalpur Municipality.