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Prince of Calcutta: Celebrating a cricketing hero as he turns 51

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Saurav Ganguly, popularly known as the ‘Prince of Calcutta’, ‘God of the Offside’ or plain ‘Dada’, is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen and captains in Indian cricket history. He is not just known for his batting and bowling skills, but his strong stand on what he believes is right and support for his fellow players, among other traits.

He took the reins of the Indian cricket team when it was at its lowest ebb in 2000, after a match-fixing scam had rocked Indian and global cricket. After taking over, he turned around the fortunes of Indian cricket, and during the six years he led the team, gave cricket fans many memorable moments. He is also a former BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) President.

On his 51st birthday, let’s take a look at the epic moments of Indian cricket history under Saurav Ganguly.

As long as we talk of Dada, the century he made at Lord’s can never be forgotten.

In 1996, in his first Test match against England at Lord’s, Saurav scored a masterly century.

During the NatWest tri-series final in 2002, Ganguly waved his jersey in the balcony at Lord’s, after India won against England. Ganguly took a jibe at Andrew Flintoff who did the exact same after their win against India at the Wankhede Stadium.

Ganguly’s jersey wave has since become a familiar talking point in cricketing circles.

  • Historic win against Australia at Eden Gardens

During the 2001 Test series against Australia, India scored a 171-run win over the opposition at the Eden Gardens, after being forced to follow-on.

Saurav Ganguly was the captain of the home team, while Steve Waugh led the Australian team. It was in this match that Saurav made Steve wait for the toss, as he had ‘accidentally’ forgotten his coat in the dressing room. Spinner Harbhajan Singh stole the show in this match.

Also read: MS Dhoni 42nd birthday: 5 lesser known facts about the legend

  • Shared Championship Trophy in 2002

Cricket fans in India will never forget proceedings on September 30, 2002, when India and Sri Lanka were declared joint champions in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy. It was a historic win for both Sri Lanka and India, in a rain-affected match.

  • Supporter of fellow players

Not only did Ganguly master all aspects of cricket, he has also been a supporter of his fellow players, both on and off the pitch. He groomed Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag. Dada also fought with the Board to bring Yuvraj Singh into the team.

  • Four consecutive Man of the Match awards

The Prince of Calcutta is the only player who has won four consecutive Man of the Match awards in ODI (One Day Internationals) matches. Saurav earned this distinction during the Sahara ‘Friendship Cup’, played between India and Pakistan at Toronto. India won the five-match ODI series 4–1 .



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