The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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I’ll be myself, says Sourav
- After mother of all comebacks, D-factor is more pronounced

Calcutta: It’s called the D (or Dada)-factor in these parts.

With Sourav Ganguly authoring the mother of all comebacks, it has got pronounced.

His return has, of course, coincided with the total eclipse of one-time mentor Jagmohan Dalmiya.

[Dalmiya, incidentally, won’t be at the Eden on Thursday when Sourav takes guard in the first ODI of the four-match Hero Honda Cup.]

“Dada hundred chai… Hundred kortei hobe,” is one shout which greeted the former captain on Wednesday as he headed out of the Dr B.C. Roy Club House.

Sourav smiled, encouraging the hundreds who’d been waiting for him to emerge after the match-eve morning workout to break into a “Dada-Dada” roar.

Seeing him off, so to say, was the newly-elected Cricket Association of Bengal president, Prasun Mukherjee.

Mukherjee, who completes one week in the chair on the day the city hosts its first big match in almost 15 months, hugged Sourav saying “hope you’re fine.”

Aware that the ODI was a huge test for the new president (also the city’s police commissioner), Sourav posed the same query.

“Yes, yes,” Mukherjee answered, this time clasping Sourav’s hands.

Email or not, a partnership has begun and the hope is that cricket in Bengal benefits.

Hundreds don’t come on demand, but it’s a fact that Sourav doesn’t have one at the Eden in India colours.

While 65 (first innings of the 1997-98 Test against Australia) is his highest in the longer version, 48 (versus Pakistan, 2004-05) is his best in ODIs.

“I’m neither terribly excited, nor weighed down by expectations… Getting the chance to again play at the Eden is pleasing, but I won’t be doing anything more than play my natural game… I’ll be myself,” Sourav told The Telegraph.

He has already ensured not a single seat goes unoccupied. Only, the weather may play spoilsport.

As Sourav wasn’t in the Greg Chappell-Rahul Dravid-Kiran More scheme of things when Team India played at the Eden (against South Africa) in November 2005, his last appearance in ODIs here was 27 months ago.

Time, then, to make the wait worthwhile.

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