We needed to take Indian cricket forward, says GangulyNovember 10th, 2008 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS
Nagpur, Nov 10 (IANS) As Sourav Ganguly’s illustrious career came to an end here Monday, the former cricket captain said he would like to be remembered as a fine batsman, a good captain and a man of comebacks. “It would be very difficult to separate them. All three have been over a considerable period so that definitely is satisfying. Captaincy I just did what I felt was right. God has been really kind that I have gone through this for 13 years and finished off on a win for Indian cricket,” Ganguly told reporters after India defeated Australia by 172 runs in the last Test to win the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Ganguly said that he was never was a captain who believed in the drawing room and sees shades of himself in Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“He (Dhoni) doesn’t believe a lot in team meeting and all. He does what he sees on the cricket field. He probably has a better view than I had, being behind the stumps. It is a phase where we needed to take Indian cricket forward,” he said.
Ganguly who is the most successful India captain said that he was lucky to have outstanding players like Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S. Laxman, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh in his team during his tenure as captain from 2000-05.
“I was lucky to have players like Sachin, Rahul, Laxman, Harbhajan, Veeru, Anil probably playing their best cricket at that stage between 2000 and 2005. That definitely helped and you have seen the results overseas. We were always a strong team at home so the results overseas I will always cherish,” he said.
“I always believed that a captain is as good as his team. It is the raising of Indian cricket’s image in world cricket, the phase from 2000-2005 and it is going on now. Indian cricket’s image on the world has gone up immensely, specially touring because we were always termed as soft when we travelled but that has changed considerably. We at the present moment are a formidable side home and away,” he said.
Asked whether he could reconsider his decision, Ganguly said: “There is no question of re-considering my decision to retire. I have had my time. There is a time for everyone to leave and this is my time to leave. I am happy with the way things have gone.”
He also said his most cherished memories would the 2001 and 2003 series against India.
“I think that definitely would be the two best series in my tenure as a player. We won in other places as well, we won in Pakistan, we won in West Indies, in India of course, in England but those two series will always remain special,” Ganguly said.
On his strained relationship with former coach Greg Chappell, he said: “I don’t want to talk about the past. What has happened has happened. Let’s keep the controversy away. It is a happy day for Indian cricket. Greg Chappell has been over and done for a long time, so let’s not bring it. Let’s respect him, let’s respect whatever has been done.”
On life after international cricket, Ganguly said he has to play two years in the IPL.
“I will try and play a few matches for Bengal too, but I don’t really know whether I will be able to get up and be ready for that. I need some time off, I have been on the road for 13 years. Commentating means travelling again all the time which I don’t think I am ready for now,” he said.