One of the highlights of India's cricketing history was when the team registered a famous win over England in the Natwest Series final in 2002. Chasing 326, India looked dead and buried when they were reduced to 146/5 after the openers Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag helped the Men in Blue off to a superb start. But then the onus was on the youngsters Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif who formed an epic partnership to bail India out of trouble and get back into the match.
While Yuvi departed after having put the chase back on track, Kaif made sure he finished the job and came in an innings which went on to define his cricketing career. It was then that then skipper Ganguly kicked off his, now part of folklore, over the top, animated and wild celebration at the Lord's balcony, taking off and waving his shirt to give it back to England whose Andrew Flintoff had done a similar gesture earlier at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Over 19 years to that match, Ganguly's celebration is still talked about by cricket lovers and experts alike. During a recent episode of the Kaun Banega Crorepati, legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan too recalled that incident when he had Ganguly and Virender Sehwag as guests on the show.
Daughter asked me why did I do it: Ganguly
When Bachchan asked Ganguly about the famous celebration, the current BCCI President said: "My daughter once watched it and asked me why did I do it. I thought I have scored over 20, 000 runs and so many cover drives, but everybody keeps talking about the Lord’s balcony celebration."
While Bachchan said that only a bold captain like Ganguly could have pulled off such a gesture, the former India skipper quickly warned Amitabh not to "challenge" current India captain Kohli.
"Don’t challenge Virat Kohli. He can even go to Oxford Street without a shirt," Ganguly said.
While waving his shirt, which is now kept at the Lord's museum, Ganguly uttered some words too which Bachchan asked him about on the show but the left-handed batter denied telling him what his words were and found a way to dodge the question.
The actor, though, known for his street smartness as an anchor, said that he actually knew what Ganguly had said during his animated celebration in the Natwest Final.