They snatched his captainship without giving him a notice. Even when his last International innings had produced a century. Then they removed him from the cricket team that he thought he owned...
But a long time ago, Sourav Ganguly realised that it was "Indian cricket team", not "Sourav Ganguly's cricket team". And since then, this passionate man has been trying his best to get another chance to prove his worth.. this time just as a player.
He was given a chance on the tour of Pakistan, played the first test match at Lahore but didn't get a chance to bat on a dead pitch. Ganguly was dropped for the second test when Indian think tank wanted to play five regular bowlers...
This meant that Sourav Ganguly spent almost 15 days among a bunch of people who were not against him, but weren't for him either. Anyways, Ganguly did get another chance in the third test, on the difficult pitch of Karachi where almost every Indian batsmen struggled. Ganguly took the important wicket of Salman Butt and scored 34 and 37 (second highest aggregate among all Indian batsmen), only to find himself out of the team again..
People asked why?? Didn't even that he didn't perform..!!
People wondered about will this man be able to make a mark again, or he just a topic that we discuss for time pass and very soon be replaced by another interesting one. During our time pass, most of us backed the point that Sourav can't come back, but we all knew within ourselves that it's not impossible. And look... it has started to become a reality.
I have two points... or I should say "two very strong points" which will show how this is possible. So if you have 2 minutes, read on..
9th of August 2006, Selectors included him into the probables for ICC Champions trophy, saying that they have selected 30 players, not 14. And whenever they do select such a big number of top Indian cricketers, Sourav Ganguly easily walks in.
But here's the catch - ICC Champions trophy starts on 7th of October and Indian team will be selected on 7th of September. Which leaves absolutely no chance for Ganguly to make a comeback. BUT WHAT AFTER THAT??
After that, no 30 probables will be selected till January which means that Ganguly can feel he still is among top 30 cricketers in India. And come 1st of October, Indian domestic season starts with "Challenger series", where top 33 Indian cricketers battle as India Seniors, India A and India B. Ganguly is a certainty for that series.. isn't he??
After that, when India team will take part in Champions trophy, our Domestic season falls into "Irani Trophy" from 9th of October, where Rest of India team plays against the winner of last season's Ranji winner, i.e Uttar Pradesh.
Ganguly walks in again in that Rest of India Squad...... Then 2006-07 Ranji Trophy starts in November where Bengal plays Punjab at Mohali from 23rd of November. Then Gujarat from 1st of December, Maharashtra from 9th of December, Mumbai from 17th of December and then Hyderabad from 25th of December. Oo man, Ganguly is playing all these matched before even the probables for the 2007 World Cup is announced.
As a summary, Sourav Ganguly is playing two ODI's, one 5 day test match and five 4 day test matches... that too on Indian soil. This gives him a total of 12 innings in which he can make a strong appeal to get selected again for the team, probably for that 2007 Tri Series involving India, Sri Lanka and West Indies in January - February which will be played in India as well..
IF Ganguly is passionate enough, IF Ganguly is healthy enough, and more importantly, IF Ganguly is hungry enough, I see back into India colours, playing those off drives and lofting spinners for a huge six.
Kiran More. The man who quoted - "Sourav Ganguly is not coming back into Indian team till I'm the chief selector". Well dear reader, Kiran More's time has come. In September, Kiran More's term as selector of India national cricket team expires and a new chief selector will be selected. Knowing Ganguly, I know he must be having lots of contacts to aggregate the chances of a new Chief selector who will back him. Or even if he doesn't, he is smart enough to develop a good term with the new Chief so that he gets a fair chance.
The only thing that remains against Sourav Ganguly is few Indian cricketers, Captain Rahul Dravid and Coach Greg Chappell. And for that, I feel when preparatory camps are organised, when Challenger's trophy will be played and when no one is watching him, Ganguly can try to make his term better with those important people and prove that he can still win matches for India. He is still WORTHY.
I am not sure Sourav Ganguly is reading me or not, but I feel he must be thinking in the same direction. And will be having better sleeps these days.
I feel cricket is a team game and if Ganguly can prove himself as a cricketer... just as a cricketer, he still has a chance...!!