Indian cricket's most successful captain ever, a leader India had been in need of for generations and a batsman of the highest ability, class and elegance has decided to call it a day - on his own terms. Love him or loathe him, Sourav Ganguly is a man his enemies, of whom there were many, simply could not keep down. Throughout his career Ganguly made it his habit to defy the odds, and with the same resolve he has fought to for the right for one last hurray - defeat of his old foes, the might Australians.
Debate will rage as to whether his exit was scripted / planned in collusion with the powers-that-be of Indian cricket. In reality, this is a non-issue. Indian cricket owes this, and much more, to this revolutionary leader who was the catalyst for the its ascendancy in world cricket. It would be an utter shame if Ganguly did, in fact, have to fight for this very fitting end, for this swan song is a small thank you for years of persistent toil and jubilant successes.
Ganguly has confirmed that his retirement was directly affected by the previous selection panel's decision to drop him from the Irani Trophy side. It is a downright shame that players of such ilk are treat so disdainfully by a group of inept and vindictive jokers parading as selectors. A simple, honest chat to discuss their respective view of Ganguly's future would have ensured an alignment of key minds that would only have augured well for this series against Australia, and Indian cricket in general.
Alas, as the old adage goes - common sense is not very common at all in Indian cricket, and the average cricket fan could have expected nothing more from a thoughtless and greedy administration.
The "God of the off side" is a true legend of modern day sport, so much so that I could not have said it better than this from Ayaz Menon:
Though he has some scintillating innings to his credit, Ganguly was not quite in the same league as Tendulkar, Dravid or Laxman. But juxtapose his captaincy with his batting, and he emerges as much of a titan as any of the aforementioned, perhaps taller.
It is a big call, I know. But one that for mine is infinitely reasonable and valid. Sourav Ganguly will one day be given the recognition and honour that is his due. Unfortunately, and not that I believe it matters to him, it will come a lot later than it should otherwise have taken.
Until such time let us pray that that the great one recreates something close to that epic performance in Brisbane on the 2003/2004 tour of Australia. Such performances in this series will not only ensure an Indian series victory, but sweet revenge against those muppets that have been baying for his blood.
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