Kolkata, July 8 (IANS) It rained wishes for Sourav Ganguly as the former Indian captain turned 44 on Friday.
Twitter was abuzz with love for one of the country’s most celebrated cricketers with ‘#HappyBirthdayDada’ trending since morning.
Former swashbuckling Indian opener Virender Sehwag recalled the famous shirt-waving indulged in by then skipper Ganguly at Lord’s balcony after India had defeated England in the NatWest tri-series one-day tournament in 2002.
“HappyBirthdayDada @SGanguly99. May you keep on helping India wave our flag high, just like u waved ur shirt at Lords,” Sehwag wrote.
New India head coach Anil Kumble, who had been Ganguly’s team-mate for years, also took to the social networking site to wish him.
“Happy birthday @SGanguly99! May the almighty shower lots of love and blessings!,” Kumble posted.
Ganguly was the most successful Indian captain before Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is currently leading the national side in limited overs format surpassed his records.
Even the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) wished the former left-handed batsman via Twitter.
“Here’s wishing a very Happy Birthday to former #TeamIndia captain @SGanguly99 #HappyBirthdayDada,” posted BCCI.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too was not far behind. “Birthday greetings to @SGanguly99 Wish you all the success and happiness in life.”
Ganguly had made his Test debut at Lord’s in 1996 and announced his arrival at the big stage with two back-to-back hundreds.
Later, he had scored a scintillating 183 against Sri Lanka — his highest score in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in the 1998 World Cup and took charge of the Indian team following the match-fixing scandal in 2000 replacing Mohammad Azharuddin.
Ganguly went on to bag 11 triumphs from 28 Tests overseas, a record which stands till date.
The southpaw had also scored 7,213 runs in 113 Tests and 11,363 runs from 311 One-Day Internationals.
In the 2002 Champions trophy, Ganguly’s side were crowned winners alongwith hosts Sri Lanka. He then led the outfit in the 2003 World Cup and the NatWest trophy where after beating England in the final he celebrated by taking his shirt off at Lord’s balcony.
Ganguly hung up his boots in 2008 during the home series against Australia and presently is the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
He also presently hosts a popular quiz show called ‘Dadagiri’. After retirement he had been a commentator for some years too.
His supporters and fans too celebrated his birthday by gathering around his Behala residence with giant posters, cut outs and cakes cheering for their beloved hero.