Ganguly Talks About The Pakistani Legend Who Helped Him During The Greg Chappell Years
Being captain of the Indian cricket team is a position which guarantees an enduring legacy.
However, as many sportspeople can agree, a long-lasting legacy does not guarantee a good one. Something that Sourav Ganguly, the celebrated former captain of the Indian cricket team is acutely aware of.
During the 2005 tour of Zimbabwe, Aussie cricketer Greg Chappell was coaching the Indian cricket team, Ganguly and Chappell’s constant headbutting was all that the media wanted to focus on. With two legendary players constantly opposing each other, the team’s performance suffered.
Leading to Ganguly losing the team captaincy and eventually, being dropped from the team altogether. This was preceded by a ton of back and forth with Chappell sending emails about Ganguly’s unfit leadership to Ganguly turning to the press for support.
This level of mental stress took its toll on Ganguly, but he has recently revealed that he received a good deal of support from Imran Khan. (h/t)
About his mental state at the time, Ganguly had to say this –
“I was so angry that I started running at Eden Gardens. It was about 2006. I kept running at Eden Gardens. I kept running, running and running till I finished 21 laps. The last six or seven were just out of anger,”
Ganguly mentions that meeting the cricketer in Lahore was a turning point in his life, as he provided him with support and motivation.
“It was tough but it made me a better person. I once met Imran Khan in Lahore during that period. He was actually following Indian cricket. We have a fantastic relationship, Imran and myself. He said something to me which I always remember in life. When you fly high and see dark clouds, you find a way to fly higher. I remembered those words during that (tough) period,”
This was key in getting Ganguly back on the Test team in 2006 and his outperforming himself over the rest of his career, giving India one of the greatest comebacks of all time.
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