Sourav Ganguly Biography: The Current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly who is widely known as “DADA” and “Lord of the Off Side” has a Bollywood story type past where he come across many hurdles in both his personal life as well as in cricket career.
The former Indian skipper is considered as the person to lift Indian cricket to its brighter side which is then carried by MS Dhoni to a greater extent by winning multiple trophies including World Cups titles.
Ganguly’s names reach every nook and corner of the world when he waved his Indian jersey after beating England in an ODI at Lord’s, England. Check out his interesting career path and the controversies he came across.
Sourav Ganguly Biography – Short Overview
|Full Name||Sourav Chandidas Ganguly|
|Nick Name||Dada, Prince of Kolkata, Bengal Tiger, Maharaja, the Warrior Prince, Lord of the Off Side|
|Date of Birth||8 July 1972|
|Birth Place||Behala Calcutta (now Kolkata), West Bengal, India.|
|School||St. Xavier’s Collegiate School, Kolkata, West Bengal|
|Family||Father: Chandidas Ganguly|
|Mother: Nirupa Ganguly|
|Brother: Snehasish Ganguly|
|Wife: Donna Ganguly|
|Daughter: Sana Ganguly (Born on November 2001)|
|Martial Status||Married – Dona Ganguly (On 1997)|
|Role||Former Indian Cricketer – Batsman|
|Bowling Style||Right-arm medium|
|Teams Played||India, Asia XI, Bengal, East Zone, Glamorgan, India Under-19s, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lancashire, Marylebone Cricket Club, Northamptonshire, Pune Warriors|
|Test||Debut: England vs India at Lord’s – June 20 – 24, 1996|
|Last: India vs Australia at Nagpur – November 06 – 10, 2008|
|ODI||Debut: India vs West Indies at Brisbane – January 11, 1992|
|Last: India vs Pakistan at Gwalior – November 15, 2007|
|FC Matches||Debut: 1989/90|
|Last: Baroda vs Bengal at Vadodara – December 21 – 24, 2011|
|List A matches||Debut: 1989/90|
|Last: Mumbai vs Bengal at Delhi – March 12, 2012|
|T20 Matches||Debut: Somerset vs Glamorgan at Cardiff – June 22, 2005|
|Last: KKR vs Warriors at Pune – May 19, 2012|
|Favourite Cricketer||David Gower|
|Coach/Mentor||BD Desai, VS “Marshall” Patil, Hemu Adhikari|
- Sourav Ganguly was born on 8 July 1972 in Calcutta (present-day Kolkata), India to Chandidas and Nirupa Ganguly.
- His father was among the richest men in the city and ran a flourishing print business.
- His mother, Nirupa Ganguly was never in favour of Sourav taking up sports as a primary motive and wanted him to focus on academics.
- But his elder brother Snehashish was a cricketer for Bengal and helped his brother to build a career in cricket.
- He joined a cricket academy where his batting talent was acknowledged.
- Ganguly married to his love his life Dona Ganguly who is a classically trained dancer and a Sourav Ganguly and Dona Ganguly has a lovely daughter named Sana Ganguly.
- After a prolonged illness, his father died on 21 February 2013 at the age of 73.
- Sourav Ganguly initially played football as it is the favourite sport for the people of Kolkata but was later attracted to Cricket.
- He learnt cricket with his brother and despite being right-handed, he learnt to bat left-handed so that he could use his brother’s sporting equipment.
- Both brothers used to watch old videos of matches were big fans of David Gower.
- He scored a century against Orissa Under-15 and went on becoming the captain of St. Xavier’s School’s cricket team.
- In 1989, Sourav Ganguly was selected to play for the Bengal team. Coincidentally, his brother dropped from the side that year.
- At the age of 18, he made his Ranji Trophy debut in the finals between Bengal and Delhi at the Eden Gardens. While the match ended in a draw, Bengal was crowned as the champions.
- After an impressive show in the Ranji Trophy in the 1990-91 season, the left-hander came into the limelight.
- He made his ODI debut in January 1992 against West Indies.
- It was not an ideal start as he could score just 3 runs batting at No. 6 in an ODI at the Gabba, Brisbane.
- Not only he failed in his first outing, he also became infamous for his arrogant attitude.
- He was then dropped from the national side with immediate effect, making him go back to domestic competitions.
- He scored heavily in the next two seasons of the Ranji Trophy. In the Ranji seasons of 93, 94, and 95 consecutively, he was a spectacular run maker.
- In the 1995-96 Duleep Trophy, he scored 171 and was called back to the Indian side.
- Following the 1995–96 Duleep Trophy, he was recalled to the Indian team for a tour of England in 1996, in the middle of intense media scrutiny.
- He played in a single ODI but was omitted from the team for the first Test.
- However, after teammate Navjot Singh Sidhu left the touring party, citing ill-treatment by then captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Ganguly made his Test debut against England in the Second Test of a three-match series at Lord’s Cricket Ground along with Rahul Dravid.
- England had won the First Test of the three-match series. However, Ganguly scored a century, becoming only the third cricketer to achieve such a feat on debut at Lord’s, after Harry Graham and John Hampshire.
- Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior have since accomplished this feat, but Ganguly’s 131 still remains the highest by any batsman on his debut at the ground.
- India was not required to bat in the second innings due to the match ending in a draw.
- In the next Test match at Trent Bridge, he made 136, thus becoming only the third batsman to make a century in each of his first two innings (after Lawrence Rowe and Alvin Kallicharran).
- He shared a 255 run stand with Sachin Tendulkar, which became at that time the highest partnership for India against any country for any wicket outside India.
- The Test again ended in a draw, handing England a 1–0 series victory; Ganguly scored 48 in the second innings.
Ganguly Captaincy Era
- After some match-fixing scandal by some of the players of the team in 2000. Sourav Ganguly was named as the Captain of the Indian Cricket Team.
- The decision was taken due to Tendulkar stepping down from the position for his health and at that time Sourav Ganguly was the vice-captain.
- His start as a captain was well and lead India to a series win over South Africa in the five-match one-day series and led the Indian team to the finals of the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy where New Zealand defeated the Men in Blue.
- Then a series arrived that proved to be the game-changer for Sourav Ganguly as well as for Indian cricket.
- At that time Australia was a champion and defeating them would like a distant dream for any team.
- Under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, India broke Australia’s streak of winning 16 consecutive test matches in 2001.
- During the Natwest Series, another highlight of Sourav Ganguly’s career where India beat England in an ODI at Lord’s and he swayed his T-shirt from the balcony of the Lord’s. It was the response to Andrew Flintoff who swayed his T-shirt at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.
- India reached the final of the World Cup in 2003 for the first time since 1983 but lost to the Australians.
- Personally, Sourav Ganguly had a successful tournament, he scored 465 runs at an average of 58.12, including three centuries.
- As a captain by 2004, he had achieved significant success and was deemed as India’s most successful captain by sections of the media.
- During his captaincy reign, his individual performance deteriorated especially after the World Cup, the tour of Australia in 2003, and in 2004 the Pakistan series.
- For the first time since 1969, Australia won a Test series in India.
- Due to indifferent form in 2004 and poor form in 2005, Sourav Ganguly was dropped from the team in October 2005. The captaincy was passed to Rahul Dravid, his former deputy.
- The bad patch continued, wherein 2007 when Greg Chappell was appointed India team coach.
- Greg proved to be a villain for India as he had conflicts with many senior players, and Ganguly was one of them. Greg declared Sourav to be mentally and physically unfit to lead team India.
- After his impressive performance in domestic cricket, Ganguly was recalled ten months later during India’s tour to South Africa.
- Sourav Ganguly was included in the team after his middle-order replacements Suresh Raina and Mohammad Kaif suffered poor form.
- He scored 51 in the first Test against South Africa. In Johannesburg, India won the match and Ganguly did well.
- He was recalled to the ODI side also and some impressive performances gave him a place in the 2007 ODI World Cup.
- In the latter stages, he performed well across formats and scored his maiden Test double hundred against Pakistan in 2007.
- Consistently, he was doing well and decided to bid adieu to international cricket after being in a form.
- He retired from international cricket in a Test series against Australia at home in 2008 after scoring 324 runs from 4 Tests at an average of 54.
- The year 2008 proved to be huge in terms of the popularity of Indian cricket.
- The Indian Premier League had begun and the ‘Prince of Calcutta’ was made the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, a franchisee-owned by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan.
- In May 2009, Ganguly was removed from the captaincy of the KKR for the 2009 season of the IPL, and was replaced by McCullum
- In the third season of the IPL, Ganguly was once again given the captaincy of KKR, after the team ended at the bottom in the second season.
- In the fourth season of the IPL, he was signed by the Pune Warriors India, after being unsold in the initial bidding process and he made 50 runs off four matches and three innings.
- In the 2012 season, he has been appointed as the Captain cum mentor for Pune Warriors India.
- On 29 October 2012, he announced that he has decided not to play in next year’s IPL and to retire from the game.
Post Retirement career
- Initially, Bengali television channel Zee Bangla roped him as the host of the reality quiz show titled Dadagiri Unlimited.
- It presented participants from the 19 districts of West Bengal, who had to answer questions posed by Ganguly.
- By August, he was appointed the chairman of CAB’s Cricket Development Committee.
- The job of the committee is to receive a report from the selectors at the end of every cricket season, assess the accountability of the selectors and make necessary recommendations.
- In March 2019, Ganguly was appointed as the advisor of the Delhi Capitals IPL team.
- From 2015 to October 2019 he was the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal.
- In October 2019 he became President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Refused to carry drinks in his Debut Match
In 1991-92, Ganguly was a part of the Indian team for the tour to Australia, where he made his ODI against the West Indies. It was said that he had refused to carry drinks, for his teammates and behaved arrogantly for it.
He was removed from the team, for this rumour. After four years until 1996, he was recalled by the Indian Cricket Team for England tour for ODI. Years later, Ganguly cleared the rumour out in an interview and denied the whole matter, calling it as a rumour.
Ran Away with Lover
In 1997, he ran away with his childhood girlfriend Dona Roy. The families of the two didn’t get along well and so the couple eloped. Both the families were troubled by the incident and later came to reconciliation.
The couple got married in February 1997. The wedding proved to be another boost for him as he evolved into a wonderful cricketer in ODIs.
He scored his maiden ODI ton against Sri Lanka and then won consecutive Man of the Match awards. He featured in the 1999 World Cup and struck 183 against Sri Lanka at Taunton which remained his highest score in ODI cricket.
Andrew Flintoff Framed Him for Princely Behaviour
Ganguly played county cricket for Lancashire in 2000. It wasn’t a memorable time for him or his team as he did not blend into the setup. He was accused of “princely behaviour” to the extent that one story claims that he once handed his sweater to teammate Michael Atherton, asking him to carry it beyond the boundary.
There were also murmurs that he had expected others to carry his kit bag. Also, when he hit a fifty once, none of his teammates was seen applauding on the dressing room balcony.
Andrew Flintoff wrote in his book Being Freddie, “He [Sourav Ganguly] wasn’t interested in the other players and it became a situation where it was 10 players and Ganguly in the team. He turned up as if he was royalty — it was like having Prince Charles on your side.”
Alleged Affair with Actress Nagma
In early 2001, as India was getting ready to play Australia at home, there were strong rumours of Ganguly’s alleged affair with actress Nagma. There were murmurs that the two visited a temple in South India and had performed a puja meant for married couples.
Through that, Ganguly’s wife Dona stood by her man, telling Sify, “It’s all rubbish. I’m extremely angry at the way some newspapers are trying to defame us. It’s unfortunate that Sourav becomes the victim of such things.”
Ganguly’s father Chandidas even told Times of India that he believed that photographs of the two were altered.
Two years down the line, Nagma subtly confirmed the alliance, telling the Savvy magazine, “Whatever one says, nobody has denied anything. As long as there is no denial of each other’s existence in each other’s life, any person can say anything they want. There was a career at stake, besides other things, so one had to part. One had to weigh a lot of things, rather than be on an ego trip and insist on being together.”
Made Steve Waugh wait for the toss
During 2001, again another controversy came relating to him being late to the field. He was late during the India-Australia match, which annoyed the cool Steve Waugh. He was blamed for being late to every match. Later, Ganguly cleared out that he was late to only one match because he couldn’t find his blazer.
In 2006, speaking at the Hindustan Times Summit, Ganguly admitted that he was deliberately late for the toss against Steve Waugh for a 2001 series in order to teach him a lesson or two about rude behaviour.
However, Waugh in his autobiography Out of My Comfort Zone shares that he was annoyed by Ganguly’s “continued petulance” in being late for the toss and mentions that he was late “seven times” during that series.
Feared to Play in Grassy Wicket
A report claims that Ganguly misses the third Test against Australia at Nagpur in 2004 due to a grassy wicket surface.
This remains a popular conspiracy theory that Ganguly was unhappy with the grass on the surface for the important game and opted out of it. In the lead-up to the game, he was quite vocal about the need to have a surface that helps the home side.
However, on the morning of the Test, it was announced that Ganguly was not playing due to an injured groin and that Harbhajan Singh was out due to an illness.
Hayden wrote in Standing My Ground, “We put their ailments down to acute cases of ‘greentrackitis’, where you develop a severe intolerance to green wickets likely to give you nothing as a spin bowler and plenty of headaches as a batsman.”
Gilchrist wrote in True Colours, “When I got to the middle, Ganguly was not there. Dravid was in his blazer, ready for the toss. ‘Where’s Sourav,’ I said. Rahul couldn’t answer definitively. Between the lines, I perceived that Sourav might have pulled out from fear of losing a home series.”
However, Gilchrist did go on to write that he doesn’t know what happened to Ganguly before the game.
Greg Chappell – Ganguly Crash
In September 2005, the former Australian cricketer Greg Chappell became the head coach of India. The dispute of Greg Chappel with Sourav Ganguly resulted in several headlines. Greg Chappel had emailed the Board of Control for Cricket in India, that Ganguly was “physically and mentally” unfit to lead India and that his “divide and rule” behaviour was damaging the Indian team.
As a result, the Board tried to intervene and attempted to bring both of them together to work as a team. But due to poor performance and disputes with the coach, Sourav Ganguly was removed from the captaincy and also dropped from the side. Therefore, to lead the team, Rahul Dravid was chosen as a captain.
Feared to bat?
Greg Chappell and Ganguly have not yet finished in their crash. Post the incident in 2005, Chappell published a book named Fierce Focus where he mentioned that a former Indian skipper was so scared of batting in difficult conditions that he resorted to faking injuries.
“He was retiring hurt, yet he appeared to have no injury. I suggested he go for an MRI scan, but he declined. I’d seen a lot of excuses over my years from guys who didn’t want to bat in difficult conditions, but normally they were more subtle than this,” he wrote.
“He, in my view, was simply frightened of a failure before the test series.”
Late for Toss in IPL
Away from international cricket, Ganguly’s run-ins with the Aussies continued in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
In 2008, Shane Warne expressed his anger after a Rajasthan Royals-Kolkata Knight Riders game at Jaipur. Warne complained to the media about the fact that his team had to wait on the field for Ganguly to walk out to open the batting and that his batsmen too waited for the other team for five minutes.
He also criticised Ganguly for asking the umpire to check if a catch was taken cleanly by a Rajasthan fielder.
Referring to a Spirit of Cricket pledge, Warne said, “I was disappointed because in Bangalore we signed that wall about the spirit of cricket.”
Ganguly hit back in an interview to Times Now, “We just need to look at Warne’s career to understand that he has no moral right to teach what the spirit of the game is. I just want to laugh at what Warne is saying. He should not be talking about the spirit of the game.”
Rahul Dravid – Ganguly
In an interview with Headlines Today in 2011, Ganguly called out Rahul Dravid for not being able to stand up to Greg Chappel during his era of captaincy.
“Rahul Dravid is such type of a person who wants that everything goes smoothly. He knew that things were going wrong, but he had no courage to revolt and tell him (Chappell) that he was doing wrong,” Ganguly said.
Talking about how he was asked to give up his leadership ahead of the Zimbabwe series in 2005, he said: “Obviously, whatever happened with me a year ago in Zimbabwe and the kind of furore that followed any captain would think that I peacefully play cricket which is right also.”
A few days later, Dravid, in a rare incident, hit back and addressed the former skipper’s statement.
“If Ganguly is saying I could not control Greg Chappell, he is entitled to an opinion. He has played many years for India,” he told Headlines Today. “But he can’t put words in my mouth as I have never had any such conversation with him.”
Crash with Umpires and Ban from Matches
Ganguly had numerous brushes with authority throughout his playing career. On three separate occasions, he was banned from matches for showing dissent to an umpire’s decision.
The first time it happened was in 1998 when he expressed his displeasure on being given out during the Bangalore Test against Australia. He was banned for one One-Day Internationals (ODI).
Then, in 2000, when Zimbabwe was in India, Ganguly was handed another ban for an “attempt to intimidate the umpires.”
The last incident took place in 2001, on the tour to Sri Lanka when he showed his bat on being given out leg-before. He was banned for an ODI yet again.
Apart from that, he was once banned for a total of six games for maintaining a slow over-rate in 2005. That came at a tough time for him as he was struggling for runs and there were questions over his captaincy.
Records and Achievements
- The only cricketer to win four consecutive man of the match awards in One Day Internationals.
- The ninth highest run-scorer in ODI history and third among the Indians, with 11,363 runs.
- He holds the record for registering the highest individual score by any batsman in an ICC Champions Trophy final(117).
- He was also the first player to score 3 centuries in the history of the ICC Champions Trophy.
- The second-fastest batsman to reach 9,000 ODI runs after AB De Villiers of South Africa who broke Ganguly’s record in 2017.
- One of the only six cricketers to have achieved the unique treble of 10,000 runs, 100 wickets & 100 catches in ODI cricket. Others were Sachin Tendulkar, Sanathan Jayasurya, Jacques Kallis, Chirs Gayle, Thilakarathe Thilshan
- His Test batting average never went below 40.
- Has the highest individual score by an Indian batsman (183) in the Cricket World Cup.
- He was the seventh Indian cricketer to have played 100 Test matches, the 4th highest overall run-scorer for India in Tests.
- The fourth Indian to have played in more than 300 ODIs.
- India’s most successful Test captain overseas, winning 11 out of 28 matches that he led.
- Sourav Ganguly is the only batsman to score a century on debut and to be dismissed first ball in his final Test innings.
- Sourav Ganguly was entitled to the Arjuna Award in 1998 for his outstanding performances in Indian cricket.
- In 2000, he received the CEAT Cricketer of the year award for his magnificent batting as an opener.
- The following year saw him winning the CEAT Captain of the Year award for the way he led the side.
- Two years later, in 2004, Ganguly received the Padma Shri Award for his valuable contribution to Indian cricket.
- Ganguly was awarded the Banga Bibhushan Award from the Government of West Bengal in 2013.
Lesser Known Facts
- Dada was given the title ‘Prince of Calcutta’ by the former England cricketer Geoffrey Boycott.
- He started batting left-handed so that he could inherit his elder brother.
- Sourav Ganguly had an indoor multi-gym and a concrete wicket built at their home.
- As per some reports, Sourav is a deeply religious person and observes a fast every Tuesday.
- There is a housing complex in Kolkata, that has been named after Sourav. It is called the ‘Sourav Housing Complex’.
- A 1.5 km road in Rajarhat in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal is named after him.
In 2018 his autobiographical book A Century is Not Enough was published.
Sourav Ganguly Biopic
After Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Mohammad Azharuddin, team India’s former captain Sourav Ganguly is reportedly the latest entrant in Bollywood’s biopic list.
As per the limited details, Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor leads the race for playing him on-screen, while the movie is expected to be a large banner production with a 200-250 crore budget.
Indian former cricketer confirms that the biopic on him will be produced by “Luv Films”.
Ganguly Heart Attack
Sourav Ganguly had suffered a mild heart attack and undergone a quick primary angioplasty on January 3 to clear a blocked coronary artery.
He underwent angioplasty on his right coronary artery at Woodlands Hospital earlier this month after he suffered a mild heart attack. He was discharged a few days later.
Sourav Ganguly Captaincy record
Sourav Ganguly Career summary as Captain
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Sourav Ganguly Overall Career Summary