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Sourav Ganguly: Captain is the most important man in the team

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly seen with former coach Greg Chappell.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly seen with former coach Greg Chappell.
Devadyuti Das

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly took over the captaincy at the most turbulent time in Indian cricket’s history. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) were reeling due to a lack of credibility after the match-fixing scandal in 2000.

Sourav Ganguly not only took India out of that mud but laid the foundation for the country to turn into world-beaters. The Bengal southpaw became one of the most influential cricketers of his generation, helping develop talent like Yuvraj Singh, Mohammed Kaif, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan over the course of his captaincy tenure.

In an exclusive interview with Indranil Basu and Shanivi Sadana on Sportskeeda's brand new show 'Free Hit', the current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly explains how the captain of any team is the most important cog.

“I am a captain’s person. I have been a captain, and I feel the captain is the most important man. Yes, the coach is important, the coach supports the captain, that was the case when I and John (Wright) ran the team for a long period of time,” Sourav Ganguly said, when asked who is more important between captain and coach.

Sourav Ganguly’s head-strong approach gelled well with the likes of New Zealand’s John Wright but didn’t go down well with Australia’s Greg Chappell. The much-talked-about fall-out between Sourav Ganguly and Greg Chappell eventually resulted in India’s disastrous showing at the 2007 50-over World Cup.

“Decisions on the field is what matters. You may have 15 plans off the field, but it’s completely different when you walk on the park, and the captain has to take decisions at that particular moment. So I feel captain is the most important man of the squad and the coach supports him,” Sourav Ganguly said, harping on the importance of the captain’s role.

Sourav Ganguly feels leadership didn't come naturally to him

The BCCI president said that leadership didn’t come naturally to him, but he grew into the job with the experience of playing cricket.

“I don’t think I was a born leader; I never had leadership skills at that stage. That got better once I got to play the game. I am a very competitive person on the field. Off the field, you can do anything, and I won’t even bother,” Sourav Ganguly said when asked if he was a born leader.

“Leading on the field was a lot harder; this is fine. The last 4-5 months were a lot of honorary work and a great experience. I told my family that I don’t know how long this will stay, maybe nine months or three years and it may not come back again,” he said about the job as BCCI president.

“I still have to earn my living, I do this and do that, my television work, my endorsements work, and I run the board. So it’s been fantastic,” he added.

Another great former captain Kapil Dev went on to dub Sourav Ganguly as the most popular Indian captain.

“Kapil is a great friend, and I respect him enormously as a cricketer. The closeness has increased over time,” Sourav Ganguly said about Kapil Dev’s praise.


Edited by Habil Ahmed Sherule

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