BCCI President Sourav Ganguly has turned 49 years old today. The former Indian skipper has been an inspiration for many youngsters as he infused the winning mentality and never die attitude during his tenure as captain in the Indian side. Ganguly, who is also fondly called 'Dada', has played some memorable knocks in ODIs and Tests. On his birthday, we bring to you 50 interesting facts about the 'Dada of cricket'.
1. Sourav Ganguly made his international debut in the year 1992 against West Indies. However, post that, he didn't get a chance to play for team India for the next 4 years till 1996. Despite that, he never gave up and kept believing that he will play for India one day.
2. Sourav Ganguly on his Test debut itself announced his arrival through a century at Lord's Ground. He became the 7th Indian batsman to smash a century on debut Test innings.
3. In 1997, Sourav Ganguly became the first player to win 4 consecutive MoM awards in ODIs.
4. Sourav Ganguly smashed most runs (6012) in ODIs for 4 consecutive years in 1997, 1998, 1999 & 2000.
Most runs in ODIs from 1 Jan, 1997 to 31 Dec, 2000
Sourav Ganguly - 6012
Sachin Tendulkar - 5076
Rahul Dravid - 3975
Inzamam-ul-haq - 3740
Jacques Kallis - 3575
5. Sourav Ganguly had a strong bonding with Sachin Tendulkar as opening batting pair. The duo recorded the most partnership runs (8227) in ODI history.
Highest total partnership runs between ODI pair :
Sachin Tendulkar & Sourav Ganguly - 8227
Mahela Jayawardene & Kumar Sangakkara - 5992
Tilkaratne Dilshan & Kumar Sangakkara - 5475
6. In Toronto Sourav Ganguly recorded his best bowling figures of 5/16 against Pakistan in 1997.
Best bowling figure vs Pakistan in ODIs till that time :
Carl Rackemann - 5/16 in Adelaide, 1984
Sourav Ganguly - 5/16 in Toronto, 1997
Arshad Ayub - 5/21 in Dhaka, 1988
7. In the year 1997, Sourav Ganguly ended up winning the Arjuna award along with his fellow Cricketer Ajay Jadeja.
8. In the year 1998, India won five different Tri-Series. Ganguly played a crucial role in three of those Tri-Series.
Sourav Ganguly in those 3 ODI Tri-series :
(i.) Was Man of the Match in 1998 Independence Cup Finals against Pakistan. His 124 helped India win the trophy.
(ii.) Smashed 105 vs NZ in Coca Cola Cup 1998 (An only match which India won in Group stage). This win helped India play the Final against Australia in the series.
(iii.) Sourav Ganguly had a 252-run opening partnership with Sachin Tendulkar in Nidahas Trophy Final and that helped India defeat Sri Lanka by 6 runs.
9. Sourav Ganguly's 183 vs SL in 1999 WC was the 2nd highest score by any player in World Cup at that time after Gary Kirsten's 188*.
10. During Ganguly's 183 knock in WC 1999, Dravid and Ganguly recorded 300-run partnership. That remains to be the first-ever 300+ run partnership in the ODI history itself.
11. Though India lost the Pepsi Cup 1999 Final to Pakistan, Sourav Ganguly still won the MoS award for smashing 278 runs from 5 matches at an average of 69.50.
12. Sourav Ganguly took up the captaincy at a time when India was struck in a match-fixing scandal during March 2000.
13. Sourav Ganguly led India to the final in the 2000 ICC Knockout tournament. His 117* remains to be the highest score in any ICC finals in a losing cause.
14. Sourav Ganguly as captain in his early days brought a lot of young players to the Indian side with the likes of Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag. All these players went onto achieve a new scale of height for the Indian team.
15. On December 2000, Sourav Ganguly recorded best-ever bowling figure by an Indian captain in ODIs while playing against Zimbabwe.
Best bowling figure in ODIs by an Indian Captain :
Sourav Ganguly - 5/34 vs Zim, 2000
Kapil Dev - 5/43 vs Aus, 1983
Kapil Dev - 4/30 vs Aus, 1986
16. In March 2001, Sourav Ganguly led the Indian team to a Test series win against Australia in a dramatic manner. India after losing the 1st Test match to Australia in Mumbai, won 2nd Test match in Eden Gardens from a follow-on situation. VVS Laxman - Rahul Dravid partnership in that game became a historical one in the Indian Test history.
17. In Natwest Series 2002 final, Sourav Ganguly's shirtless celebration at Lord's balcony was considered to be epic moment by the masses. This also remains to be the only Multi-Nation tour final won by Sourav Ganguly as captain.
18. India managed to draw a Test Series 1-1 vs England on England soil in 2002. The trio of Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly all smashed centuries in 3rd Test of the series which happened in Headingley ground at Leeds and helped India win by an innings margin.
19. Sourav Ganguly as captain led India to Champions Trophy 2002 Final. Unfortunately the final got washed out, India and Sri Lanka ended up as joint-winners of CT 2002.
20. Sourav Ganguly as captain of World Cup 2003 smashed 3 centuries. Till now he remains to be the only captain to smash three centuries in a single World Cup.
21. He led India to 3rd ICC final in a row in his 3rd ICC tournament as captain during World Cup 2003. However, India lost the WC Final to the Australian team.
22. In Brisbane, Sourav Ganguly smashed a stunning 144 against Australia in the 1st Test match. Dada's knock ensured India drew that first test match. He took batting tips from Greg Chappell for that Australia tour in 2003/4.
23. After a period of almost 23 years, India ended up winning a Test match on Australian soil for the first time. India won a Test match in Adelaide for the first time in Ganguly's captaincy during December 2003. India also managed to level the Test series 1-1 on Australian soil in Jan 2004.
24. Sourav Ganguly became the first Indian captain to win an ODI series and also Test series against Pakistan in Pakistan in 2004.
25. In 2004, Sourav Ganguly was honoured with the Padma Shri award which is 4th highest civilian award in recognition of his contribution in the Sports field.
26. In August 2005, Sourav Ganguly became the 2nd fastest (innings-wise) to reach 10,000 runs in ODIs after Sachin Tendulkar.
27. By 2004/05, Sourav Ganguly established himself as most successful Indian captain but his personal performances started to detoriate. After his 144 vs Australia in Adelaide in 2003, he didn't smash a century for more than 1.5 years.
28. In October 2005, Sourav Ganguly was sacked from ODIs by then Indian coach Greg Chappell due to his poor form with bat. Chappell's mail to BCCI was leaked in media which stated Ganguly's negative attitude would hamper India's development as a unit for World Cup 2007. This created huge tension among people in Bengal and hurted their sentiments.
29. In November 2005, the entire crowd at Eden Gardens booed the Indian team, who were playing an ODI match against South Africa. This incident happened to show Kolkata crowd's support towards Ganguly (Pro-Ganguly sentiment) and have a go against Greg Chappell's thought process. Later South Africa ended up defeating India convincingly by a margin of 10 wickets.
30. Ganguly's numbers as captain
In ODIs : M - 147; W - 76; L- 66; NR -5
In Tests : M- 49; W -21; D - 15; L-13
31. Though the Ganguly-Chappell saga was one of the darkest phase in Indian cricket history but notably, it was Ganguly the one who recommended Greg Chappell name for that role twice during April 2005. He was chosen over other contenders like Dav Whatmore, Mohinder Amarnath, Graham Ford, Desmond Haynes, Tom Moody and John Emburey in a highly publicised selection process.
32. Sourav Ganguly after being sidelined from India's team lineup for more than 10 months, made a comeback into the side in December 2006 for the Test Series against South Africa. He modified his batting style and worked really hard to get back in the side and showed the whole world that he hasn't finished.
33. Sourav Ganguly in his comeback ODI match smashed 98 vs WI in Nagpur during Jan 2007. He won the Man of the Series award for his terrific run in the 4 match ODI series against Sri Lanka in Feb 2007. His impressive run just months before WC 2007 ensured a slot for him in that big tournament which happened in West Indies.
34. Though India faced an early exit in WC 2007, Ganguly scored well with the bat against Bangladesh and Bermuda in that event. Ganguly scored 162 runs in World Cup 2007.
35. After a disastrous World Cup in 2007, India travelled to England and won the Test after a period of 21 years in England Soil by 1-0 margin. Sourav Ganguly smashed 249 runs in that series and ended up being the 2nd highest run-scorer for team India.
36. In December 2007, Sourav Ganguly recorded his best score of 239 in Test Cricket against Pakistan.
37. In 2007, Sourav Ganguly became only the 3rd player after Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya to score 10,000 runs, pick 100 wickets and take 100 catches in ODIs.
38. In the year 2007, Sourav Ganguly smashed the most runs in international cricket.
Most runs in international cricket during 2007:
Sourav Ganguly - 2346
Mahela Jayawardene - 2230
Matthew Hayden - 2223
39. In 2008, Sourav Ganguly decided to announce his retirement from international cricket with a farewell Test series being played against Australia.
40. In his farewell Test, MS Dhoni gave the honour to Sourav Ganguly by allowing him to captain the team for the last few overs.
41. Sourav Ganguly was one of the five players to have iconic player status in IPL 2008, where he was earning 15% more than the highest bought player of the team in the auction.
42. In IPL 2009, Sourav Ganguly was removed from captaincy and he was replaced by Brendon McCullum but it ended up being a poor move as KKR finished at bottom of the points table. In the next IPL season Sourav Ganguly was again re-appointed as captain of Kolkata franchise and Dav Whatmore replaced John Buchanan as KKR coach.
43. In 2011, Ganguly shockingly went unsold during the IPL bidding process. Later in that season he replaced injured Ashish Nehra and played just 4 matches for PWI. He ended playing those 4 IPL matches under his favorite player Yuvraj Singh
44. Sourav Ganguly has won 31 MoM awards in ODIs which is 3rd highest for an Indian Player after Sachin Tendulkar (62) & Virat Kohli (36).
45. In WC 2007, he became only the 2nd Indian player after Sachin Tendulkar to smash 1000 runs in World Cups.
46. Ganguly still remains to be the 3rd highest run-scorer for India in ODIs and 8th highest run-scorer for India in Test Cricket.
47. Sourav Ganguly while ending his IPL campaign smashed 1110 runs as captain alone in 2008, 2010 & 2012 season
48. In all three formats combined, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly have the most century (38) partnerships in international cricket.
Most century partnership in international cricket :
Sourav Ganguly & Sachin Tendulkar - 38
Rahul Dravid & Sachin Tendulkar - 31
Virat Kohli & Rohit Sharma - 24
49. Sourav Ganguly smashed 16 centuries in Test Cricket and none of those 16 came in a losing cause.
50. From 2015 to October 2019, he was President of the Cricket Association of Bengal and in 2019 he became the President of BCCI.