Former greats hail Ganguly as the best India captain

October 7th, 2008 - 9:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan SinghBangalore, Oct 7 (IANS) Former Indian cricketers Tuesday hailed Sourav Ganguly as a fighting cricketer and the best Indian captain. Former Test stars, some of them his teammates, lauded Ganguly’s contribution to Indian cricket as the graceful left-handed batsman announced his decision to quit international cricket after the four-Test series against Australia, starting here Thursday.

Former captain Kapil Dev was all prise for Ganguly for ushering in a new era in Indian cricket as captain.

“It is a big decision for any cricketer. But we should not be saddened by it. He is a great player and what a wonderful career he has had. He gave tremendous confidence to the team as captain. With him began a new era in Indian cricket. We are proud to have a cricketer like him, ” Kapil said.

“He is a big striker of the bal and has the ability to hit any fast bowler on the off-side. And most importantly he always spoke his mind. I wish other cricketers could do the same, ” he added.

Arun Lal, a former Bengal captain, said Ganguly took the right step and hoped that he ends his career on a high note.

” He is a fantastic cricketer. I think he has taken the right decision because he wanted to go on a high.

Former captain Bishan Singh Bedi, though said he was not surprised by Ganguly’s announcement and felt it was round the corner.

“He had a golden run. It is the time to celebrate for what he has done for Indian cricket. It is a moment to rejoice.”

Former India fast bowler Javagal Srinath said: “I was pretty disappointed when he was ignored by the selectors (for the Irani Trophy). There should have been a better way of going out of the game. Nevertheless, he has got this opportunity to speak to the selectors. I would be very pleased for Ganguly if he can really make a difference in this series and leave on a high note,”

“He has played his 12 years of international cricket successfully and also led the side successfully. He had a huge impact on some of the players, Yuvraj in particular, and had a great influence on Harbhajan Singh’s career. Arguably he is one of the best captains we have had so far.,” Srinath said.

However, Ajay Jadeja, felt it was a compromise and said he won’t be surprised if another senior player announces his retirement by the end of the series.

“It is sad because he is always been the one who spoke for his place in the side. I think it was a golden handshake and puts a question mark on the players’ freedom to retire.”

Kiran More, who had running battles with Ganguly as chairman of the selection committee when he dropped him in 2006, said that the decision came as a shock.

“It was a shock for me but I think he is a fantastic cricketer and his decision to retire is right. We should honour him for his contribution to cricket.”

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