Ganguly’s Bengaluru Fan Club: Dada is the best

October 11th, 2008 - 6:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Oct 11 (IANS) As former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly plays his last Test at Chinnaswamy stadium he will have fond memories to carry with him, whether he scores or not.That is being ensured by Bengaluru Sourav Ganguly Fan Club.

“Dada will never retire from our hearts,” says a banner with Ganguly’s picture embossed on it as India played the first test against Australia.

Sitting beneath the banner is a motley group of people - IT professionals, physicians, college-goers - around 150 of them, who for the last three days have been religiously coming to bid goodbye to one of India’s maverick and popular cricketers.

The fans say the club is not an exclusive bastion of Bengalis in Bangalore.

“The club belongs to all, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or language. One just has to love Dada to be a part of the club,” said a member of the club, to clear any doubt that the club has been formed only by Bengalis.

The club members turn glum whenever the topic of ‘Maharaj’ (as Sourav is fondly called by his fellow Kolkatans) retiring from international cricket comes up.

Ganguly chose Bangalore to announce his retirement from international cricket a day ahead of the first Test which began Thursday.

“He still has a lot of cricket left in him. Dada is the best and has always proved his mettle, in spite of all odds,” Shweta Banerjee, a self-proclaimed die-hard fan of Ganguly, told IANS.

“Since he is playing his last international Test series, we thought of coming here everyday and watch our hero playing,” added the 21-year-old with a sigh of regret on Ganguly’s retirement announcement.

Rahul Sharma, another member of the fan club, says he is so hurt by Ganguly’s retirement that he has decided to concentrate on his studies, instead of nurturing the dream of wearing India’s cricketing cap someday.

“All along the selectors have showed their biased attitude towards Ganguly. They have made a sacrificial goat out of him selecting and dumping him, now and then,” said Rahul.

“Under such circumstances, Dada was forced to announce his retirement and in the process we lost the chance of watching a good cricketer playing for several more years,” he added.

In spite of all sadness, the fan club has decided to enjoy the Test match and give a befitting farewell to their “idol” by not spoiling the spirit of the game.

“We are sad that Dada won’t be playing cricket any longer. But, by cheering and enjoying the match we want to say that Dada you have given us some great moments and we love you a lot,” said 55-year-old housewife Meena K.

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