Calcutta: The MCC has sought regular Team India captain Sourav Ganguly’s availability for Tuesday’s high-profile tsunami fund-raiser at Lord’s.
“I got a call asking if I’m free on June 14 and I responded positively,” Sourav told The Telegraph in the early hours of Friday.
Confirming that, Laura Garland of the MCC’s communications department said Sourav has been approached as there’s a “problem” with Ramnaresh Sarwan’s travel plans.
“Indications are that Sourav is going to play for the MCC XI (against an International XI), but an announcement may not be made before Monday,” she informed.
The limited overs match doesn’t have official status, but the presence of some of the hottest names ' Brian Lara to Shane Warne and Stephen Fleming to Shoaib Akhtar ' has guaranteed blockbuster billing.
Assuming Sourav makes the XI, India will have five representatives ' others being V.V.S. Laxman and Anil Kumble (MCC XI); Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid (International XI).
Laxman, of course, is Sachin Tendulkar’s replacement. Till the recent elbow surgery, Sachin was to have captained the MCC XI. That job is now Fleming’s.
Lara leads the International XI.
Sourav, meanwhile, is settling down at Glamorgan. His first week with the Welsh County was rain-marred, but he got big runs in the Championship match versus Kent.
Given that our conversation took place before Sourav resumed his first innings, one asked whether he was looking to quickly post his maiden hundred for Glamorgan.
“I’m only looking to make the most of this opportunity' I would like to get tall scores, but I can’t predict when those runs are going to come,” Sourav responded.
As it turned out, he couldn’t add much to the overnight 61 and fell for 69 (96 balls, 9x4, 1x6). In the second innings, however, he smashed 142 off just 124 balls (15x4, 5x6).
Sourav, who took guard with the County on a wobbly three for five after following-on 210 behind, smashed Kent to all corners of Sophia Gardens.
His sterling effort notwithstanding, the visitors won by ten wickets late on the third day.
Sourav (as also Dona and Sana) will ‘celebrate’ the personal achievement over dinner hosted by Glamorgan’s other overseas pro, Matthew Elliott.
The 142 is Sourav’s highest first-class score since the 170 for East Zone against Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in an end-February Duleep match in Nagpur.
Versus Pakistan, Sourav managed as few as 48 runs in five Test innings.
Sourav, though, began with a duck on his debut, against Sussex, last week. Did that upset him'
“Actually, no' I hadn’t played any form of cricket for almost two months and, so, wasn’t devastated,” he insisted.
Having only spent around ten days with the County, Sourav declined to make a comparison with Lancashire, for whom he played in 2000.
“Look, we’ve been hard hit by the non-availability of key bowlers Simon Jones and Alex Wharf' It has been tough,” he explained.
Jones has been on England duty and Wharf is injured.
Whatever, Glamorgan’s training programme is demanding and even on the non-match days there’s little time for Sourav to do anything besides playing with Sana and tucking into Dona’s prawn/chilly chicken preparations.
The Gangulys’ Cardiff apartment, by the way, is centrally located ' off the city centre.
Incidentally, the next Championship match is versus Middlesex (from June 15) and Sourav is going to be up against Irfan Pathan.