NEW DELHI: Sourav Ganguly, the captain credited for putting fire in the belly of Indian cricket, celebrates his 48th birthday today.
‘Dada’, ‘Prince of Calcutta’, ‘God of the Off-Side’, ‘King of Comebacks’ — Ganguly has been christened with multiple nicknames by cricket fans, experts and team-mates alike through his playing career.
Ganguly took over India’s captaincy after the match-fixing fiasco in 2000 and proved to be a leader who believed in youth and putting them in the line of fire to get the best out of them. Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Virender Sehwag, Ashish Nehra, Mohammad Kaif and others are all such examples from that era.
His call to ask Sehwag to open the batting in Tests changed Sehwag’s career and had an incredible impact on Indian cricket. Ganguly was also the one who asked Rahul Dravid to wear the wicket-keepers’ gloves, at a time when India were struggling to find a permanent keeper.
‘Dada’ is still India’s second highest run-scorer in ODIs, with a tally of 11,363 runs at an average of 41.02, which includes 22 hundreds and 72 half-centuries.

After retiring from the game in 2008, Ganguly chose to give back to the game that made him one of the icons of world cricket.
Having served as the president of Cricket Association of Bengal, Ganguly was elected as the current president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
Apart from featuring in 311 ODIs, Ganguly played 113 Tests, scoring 7212 runs with 16 centuries and 35 fifties. He never played T20 international cricket.