Sourav Ganguly, the man who transformed the face of Indian cricket, turned 45 today. The former Indian captain, who led India to many memorable wins also had his share of controversies. Numerous stories floated in media during his playing days, right from his refusal to carry drinks during India’s tour to Australia in 1991-92 to his infamous spat with then coach Greg Chappel. Here are the top five controversies of the ‘Prince of Kolkata’ as he was famously nicknamed by Geffrey Boycott.
1. Refusal to carry drinks in Australia?
Sourav Ganguly was part of the Indian team that toured Australia in 1991-92. It was during this tour that he made in debut in one-dayers. That was his only ODI before he made a comeback on India’s England tour in 1996. As per cricketcountry.com, during the Australia tour, he had refused to carry drinks, one of the roles of a benched player. Ganguly has refused this allegation.
2. Waving shirts at Lord’s after India’s NatWest series win
After India chased down the difficult 326 runs against England in Natwest series final in 2002, the then India captain waved his shirt at the Lord’s balcony to celebrate after the historic win. Then coach John Wright has written in his book Indian Summers that initially Harbhajan Singh was planning to do the same, but was stopped by Rahul Dravid. Sourav Ganguly’s step was a payback for Andrew Flintoff’s similar action at Wankhede Stadium earlier that year, the website said.
3. Sourav Ganguly made Steve Waugh wait for toss
The India-Australia Test series in considered as most hotly contested in recent times. Team India under Sourav Ganguly had taken on mighty Australian side under Steve Waugh. During the series, Sourav Ganguly had turned up late for toss every time, irritating the visiting captain. “The fact that he turned up late every game, it was his choice. I just thought it showed a lack of respect for the game. It didn’t really affect me. The match referee actually told him that he had to turn up on time,” PTI quoted Waugh as saying in 2013.
4. Spat between Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappel
It is perhaps one of the major controversy surrounding Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappel, who had taken over as Team India coach in 2005, said cricketcountry.com. Ganguly was having a bad patch with the bat and pressure was on him to perform. During India’s tour to Zimbabwe, Chappel had apparently told him that the pressure of captaincy was affecting his batting, which in turn affected the team. Later Ganguly told the media that he was asked to resign. The whole controversy snowballed into a big affair. After the tour was over, Ganguly was not only sacked from captaincy but was also dropped from the One-day side. he made a comeback after a year. Greg Chappel era ended soon after India’s disappointing performance in 2007 World Cup in West Indies.
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5. Spat with Ravi Shastri
In one of the most recent controversies, involving Sourav Ganguly, he recently had a spat with another former India cricketer Ravi Shastri. The BCCI had given the task to select a new coach to the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC), of which Ganguly was a part. The controversy had begun after Ganguly did not attend Ravi Shastri’s interview which took place through video conferencing as Shastri was in Bangkok. After Anil Kumble got the job replacing Shastri, later slammed ‘dada’ in public for disrespecting him, the cricketcountry.com added.