I had never been a die hard fan of ganguly.for me cricket always meant sachin .but there is some thing about him for which I still remember him n missing him
What is it about Saurav that has struck this emotional chord? It isn't just the mountain of runs he scored and the matches he won. Although he is easily the finest left hander to play for the country, there have been other even better players who haven't quite received the same adulation.
Perhaps, the key lies in the fact that Ganguly has been a very different character to the constellation of other great cricketers - the so-called fab five - assembled around him. Sachin Tendulkar has always been the 'master', a cricket deity to be worshipped from afar.
Rahul Dravid has been "The Wall", solid and dependable, the kind you want as a son in law. VVS Laxman has always been very, very special, a man of few words who prefers to let his bat do the talking. Kumble was the Silent Assassin who, like Laxman, speaks with his deeds .
Ganguly, on the other hand, is both "Maharaj" and "Dada": feudal lord and neighbourhood 'pada' gang leader, both protector and aggressor. He has been alternately perceived as arrogant (remember the stories that were spread of how on his first tour he was not too keen on carrying the drinks trolley) and resilient (has anyone made as many successful comebacks as Ganguly). He has looked the mighty Aussies in the face, including the famous incident when he kept Steve Waugh waiting for the toss, and yet has been accused of shying away from fast bowling.
At home, he is a most gracious host, and yet he is remembered as the captain who bared his torso on the balcony of Lords. He has pushed for Greg Chappell as coach and has also fought with him. He has been criticised for being selfish, yet arguably no other Indian captain has backed his players more firmly.
Perhaps, its the complex nature of his personality that makes Ganguly so attractive, a fallible human in a cricket universe populated by robots.
Perhaps, Ganguly's greatest contribution to Indian cricket is that he was the first captain to actually look beyond regional loyalties.
It is no coincidence that the rise of Ganguly as captain also saw the emergence of new cricket talent from outside the traditional centers of the sport. For it was Ganguly who provided a ready platform to Indian cricket's generation next, channelising their small town bravado into on field success.
Till Ganguly took over the captaincy, the Indian team was usually led by men who preferred to see their role as gentlemen first, players later. Bishen Bedi and Sunil Gavaskar did symbolize player power, but they couldn't quite change the elite order of the sport.
Ganguly was able to achieve the transformation, supported by a group of ambitious cricketers, many of whom had little time for the colonial traditions of the so-called "gentleman's game".
It wasn't always edifying, but in a way it was necessary. The act of shirt removal at Lords may have been inadvertent, but it was a defining moment. It marked the end of the domination of the sport by those who believed they had the divine right to decide on how it was to be played.
This was aspirational New India, unwilling to be lectured to, and desperately keen to shake off the burdens of a long-standing inferiority complex. It was as if a boy from Behala was screaming for attention on the world stage, demanding recognition based on merit not lineage.