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Looking back at the BCCI President's achievements on his birthday

As Sourav Ganguly turns 50 today, The Telegraph looks at his incredible journey with a half century of milestones and memories

Agnideb Bandyopadhyay Published 08.07.22, 04:28 AM

Growing up in a Bengali household essentially meant learning three names before anything else. A certain poet with an interesting beard, a tall man who probably had something to do with cinema, and a cricketer who hated running and loved eating as much as the person next door, but could also go shirtless and wave his Indian jersey defeating a mighty English side, not quite so much like the person next door. Sourav Ganguly has always been an inexplicable sentiment. Probably, because the Bangali in him unapologetically found a way out, and was always the ‘barir chhele’ everyone pinned their hopes on, with a magnetic ability to attract people who were not even interested in the sport. Tracing his journey from a charming debutant at Lord’s, to an Indian captain, and finally the BCCI president has been quite an emotional joyride for us. Interestingly, Dada was never a sanitised presence, but always unfailingly, a household idol. He defined a brand of cricket with a primary essence of hurling aggression back, and never cowering away, carrying with him the combined hopes, aspirations and drive of countless Indians who wanted to watch the usual bigshots fearing an Indian team. And there he was, waving jerseys, keeping captains waiting, slogging it around the park, with so much to prove, and countless hurdles to skip past. As the Maharaja turns 50 years young, The Telegraph looks back at 50 iconic feats, milestones and performances which defined the player and the legend.

1. Scored back-to-back centuries in his debut Test and following match — with scores of 131 and 136, in Lord’s and Trent Bridge, respectively


2. Was ranked sixth on the list of all-time greatest ODI batsmen by Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack

3. Holds the record for the highest individual score by an Indian at the World Cup with a 183 against Sri Lanka, in Taunton

4. Holds the record for the most runs by an Indian left-handed batter

5. Has the fourth most runs for India in international cricket

6. Has the third most ODI runs for India and ninth among all-time leading ODI run getters

7. Shared the first ever 300 run partnership in ODIs with Rahul Dravid at 1999 World Cup, against Sri Lanka

8. Was the highest ODI run scorer in 1997, 1999 and 2000

9. Holds the record with Sachin Tendulkar for the opening pair with maximum runs (6,609 runs)

10. Stands as the Indian skipper with the third most Test wins

11. He is the only Indian skipper to win a series in Pakistan (2003-4)

12. Led India to the only Test win after being forced to follow on at the iconic 2001 match, in Eden Gardens, Calcutta

13. Grabbed headlines with the historic NatWest win marking India’s highest ever ODI run chase, which was broken later

14. Only Indian captain with three centuries in a single World Cup (2003)

15. Remains one of the only six cricketers in the history of the game with more than 10,000 runs and 100 wickets

16. Holds the record for the third most ODI wins as captain with 76 wins

17. Has the fourth most ODI centuries as a captain with 11 to his name

18. Became the first Indian to score an ODI century against Australia in Australia

19. Touted as one of the greatest and most elegant comebacks ever, was the highest run-getter in the series against South Africa in 2006

20. His instrumental knock of 51 helped India win its first ever Test match in South Africa

21. Scored his career-best knock of 239 against Pakistan in 2007

22. Was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004

23. Was the third batter in history to cross 10,000 runs in international cricket

24. Made history by bagging four consecutive Man of the Match awards in 1997

25. Holds the record for highest individual score for India in an ICC final

26. Was the first winning captain of an IPL game

27. Only third cricketer to score a debut century in Tests at Lord’s, and score two consecutive centuries in his first two innings.

28. First player to score three centuries in the ICC Champions Trophy

29. Became the fastest player to reach 9,000 ODI runs, which was later broken by AB de Villiers in 2017

30. One of the 14 cricketers in the world to have played 300 or more ODIs and 100 or more Tests

31. Only cricketer with a century on debut and a golden duck in his final Test innings

32. Stands as the third most successful Indian Test captain of all times

33. Became the first player in 65 years to become the BCCI president after Maharaja Vizianagaram

34. Was instrumental in organising two IPL editions through Covid, which was hailed for its management and swift decisions

35. Considered one of the greatest captains of all time, he took the charge of a sinking ship of an Indian team marred by match-fixing scandals

36. Was the second captain to lead India to a World Cup final in 2003

37. India was crowned the joint winner of the ICC Champions Trophy 2002, under his captaincy

38. Scored a century in his last Test series , vs Australia in Mohali

39. Dropped one of the major statements in international cricket by turning up late for the toss against Australia, in 2001, to stand up for a teammate shamed by the then Aussie coach, John Buchanan

40. Bagged the most runs in ICC Knockout Trophy 2000, leading India to final. The tournament marked the debut of Yuvraj Singh and Zaheer Khan.

41. Scored a majestic 124 against Pakistan in the third final of the Silver Jubilee Independence Cup, leading to the then highest successful ODI run chase of 316

42. Slotting it all around the park, scored an unbeaten knock of 141 against South Africa in the ICC Knockout Trophy 2000, sealing a final berth for India. It was rated one of the top ODI knocks by Wisden

43. India ailing at 62-3, Ganguly came out to bat and scored an imperious 144 vs Australia in 2003-4 to draw the rain-hit Test

44. Facing a bowling attack comprising Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar, Ganguly scored a sumptuous 141* against Pakistan, steering India to a much-sought win in Adelaide in 2000

45. Scored 128 vs England at Headingley, steering India to one of the most dominating wins against England, with tons from Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar, as well

46. Scored a quickfire 60 vs England in the 2002 NatWest final, boosting the mammoth run chase

47. With India languishing at 56-4, Ganguly walked out to score an unbeaten 75 vs West Indies in 2002, leading them to narrow win

48. Was the first Indian with a World Cup knockout century (against Kenya in 2003)

49. Riding on a brilliant comeback, he ended up as the second highest runscorer in Tests in 2007

50. Was a part of ATK, which won the inaugural edition of the Indian Super League.

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