On Sourav Ganguly
CricketNext’s Sanjay Jha puts it almost poetically:
Because you took over as captain when match-fixing clouds hung over, but you made the right bets for the team.
Because with Sachin Tendulkar, you made ODI opening a treat for Indians, and a nightmare for the opposition. It was left right, left right, alright.
Because when Andrew Flintoff ran naked chest on national display at Wankhede, you lost your shirt.
Because when the Oz threatened you with chin music, you played hip-hop with them at Brisbane hitting a majestic hundred.
Because you never quite understood the logic and rationale behind being dropped even after scoring 10000 runs plus in ODIs and in good nick. You are not good at reading whodunits.
Because they burnt your effigies and hurled stones at your team in 2003, and then you led India to the finals of the World Cup in South Africa.
Because you discovered youngsters, groomed, encouraged and inspired Yuvraj, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Irfan and MSD to become our future heroes.
Because you suffered the humiliation from Greg Chappell and several critics with humility, dignity and grace.
Because you proved that the word “age” is not a four-letter word.
Because when axed, you concealed your hurt and disappointment, went and played local tournaments and sneaked back into the team. Then Johannesburg happened. Your fairy-tale return had happened.
Because you have redefined the word, comeback. And grit. And determination. And fighting spirit. And leadership. And many unmentioned superlatives.