Former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly holds a special place in the hearts of Indian cricket fans. The man from Kolkata proved to be the plausible and energetic captain that India was longing for, especially after the match-fixing scandals towards the end of 2000. His aggressive nature, never-say-die attitude and the reluctance to be the underdog made him a strong guardian of Indian cricket for a number of years.
It was this day, 10th November, that the Indian legend quit international cricket once and for all in 2008. India were playing against the Australians in the fourth Test match at Nagpur and were already leading 1-0 in the series. The Australians were struggling to combat the Indian team and were staring at another defeat. Though the fans were overjoyed by watching the Indians dominating the Aussies, they couldn't resist their tears for it was the final time that they got to cheer for 'Dada.'
It wasn't the kind of match that Ganguly would have wanted as his final one, for he made a strong 85 in the first innings but got out for a duck in the second innings. However, this earned him the dubious distinction of scoring a century in his first Test innings and a duck in his last.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was captaining the side then, allowed Dada to lead the side for one last time during towards the end of second innings. The fans were ecstatic as they got to relive the moments of Ganguly- the Skipper. India went on to win the Test by 172 runs and it turned out to be a fitting end to a glorious career.
Sourav Ganguly represented India in 113 Tests and 311 ODIs between 1992 and 2008 and has scored over 15,000 international runs. The left-hander turned out to be one of the batting stalwarts of the Indian team. He was so strong on the off-side that it earned him the name, "God of Off-side." Ganguly, as a captain, still remains to be one of the best and most respected one.
His relationship with his teammates couldn't be questioned as some of the greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath have often lauded his presence in the dressing room. The way the players carried him off the field and shed tears after his final game just showed how much he meant to them. Even Master Blaster Sachin, who formed a deadly opening combination with him in ODIs, was seen crying.
Ganguly still stands out as someone to look forward to when it comes to standing by your teammates and leading a side against without any consternation. For a nation that boasts of producing some of the greats of the game, Sourav Ganguly still stands out as a priced possession.