Life after cricket: Ganguly starts by penning columns

November 14th, 2008 - 10:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 14 (IANS) Quickly settling down into a new life after retiring from international cricket, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly Friday began penning columns on the One-Day home series against England.”It will be a good series and I will love watching it sitting on my sofa and not worrying about anything. Good luck India,” Ganguly said in his maiden column that appeared in dailies like The Telegraph and Aajkaal Friday.

Flooded with offers from television channels and newspapers for his expert views, Ganguly has chosen cricket master Sunil Gavaskar’s Professional Management Group to launch his off-field career, and the column is the product of that arrangement.

Though Ganguly had earlier been a regular columnist during his five-year stint as Indian captain, this is the first time he can write on cricketing matters taking a ringside view.

Speculation is also rife on whether the talismanic left hander would play in the Ranji Trophy for Bengal, which has been demoted to the Plate division last season.

“Though he was earlier reluctant to play, now he has assured us that he will turn out for the state team if it hits a trough,” said a Bengal selector.

The Ranji appearance could give Ganguly the much-needed match fitness for the gruelling Indian Premier League (IPL) - with which he has a contract to play for two more seasons - next year as skipper of the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Apart from the on-field assignments, Ganguly seems to be going slow on taking up television commentary as a full-time occupation. Those close to him say after the hectic travel schedule for the last 12 years on India duty, Ganguly now wants to relax for a while at home.

“He relishes biryani, kebabs and fried junk food. He has lost out on these fronts in his compulsion to stay fit during his playing days. Now he wants to make up,” said a close friend.

Ganguly’s thriving cricket academy in Salt Lake could also keep him busy, while the now-former cricketer has himself expressed a wish to get into the cricket administration.

“I would like be a cricket administrator. First step would definitely be the Cricket Association of Bengal,” he was quoted as saying.

The leadership qualities ingrained in Ganguly, much in evidence during his stewardship of the Indian team, could again get manifested in entrepreneurial ventures. There is already talk, though without much confirmation, of a mineral water bottling plant, a couple of schools as also an IT park that Ganguly could be eyeing.

A section of the media had recently come out with reports that Ganguly would delve into politics by joining West Bengal’s ruling Left front partner Communist Party of India - Marxist (CPI-M), and could even be pitted against opposition Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in the Lok Sabha polls next year.

But Ganguly has himself discounted any possibility of entering politics.

“Lot of things have been written on this issue. They simply have no basis. As of now, I don’t have nay such plans,” he said in a recent interview.

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