How would you define Sourav Ganguly? I’d say a non-conformist who did what he wanted and took Indian cricket to glory.

But there is a problem with definitions, especially when they are about a person: They capture their most prominent side. As is the case with the former Indian captain. So today, we decided to dig up some old stories about Sourav Ganguly, which prove that there is so much more to the shirt-swinging, aggressive cricketer.

Times Now

1. This one time Sachin Tendulkar got hit by a bouncer from Shoaib Akhtar. So Dada, trying to be a supportive teammate and friend, went to him and said tu champion hai re, tu champion hai. That’s really sweet; in fact he was probably too encouraging because Sachin had to ask him to be quiet so that he could recover.

India Today

2. And he wasn’t always looking to pick up a fight. During an India-Pakistan match in 2005, batsman Mohammad Yousuf got injured in the elbow and asked for a runner. That didn’t really make much sense since he could still run, but Dada tried to be nice with him, assuming he was going through pain. 

He had only one concern: Not having his pay deducted due to slow over rate. So he told him, “Main ye nahi keh raha ki tu jaan boojhke kar raha hai. Tereko rest lena hai tu le le, par mujhe fine na kare. Tu time note kar le bas“. 


3. In a touching gesture, he wore his India blazer from captaincy days when he was officially made the president of the BCCI. When asked about the same, he told the reporters:

I got this (blazer) when I was the captain of India. So, I decided to wear it today. But, I didn’t realize it’s so loose.

4. We have all heard stories about Dada’s undying support for his teammates and here is one of them. It is said that if Harbhajan Singh wasn’t picked for the historic India vs Australia series, 2001, he had plans to become a truck driver in Canada. However, Ganguly showed unflinching faith on the spinner.

And we all know what that led to. The Kolkata Test – 13 wickets – and a victory of a lifetime. 

India Today

Later, Harbhajan also thanked Ganguly for believing in his abilities.

I was dropped for a long time. I was also discarded by the NCA before that series, I was very low. If it wasn’t for my captain Sourav Ganguly then I probably would have settled down in Canada like many of my friends. Thank you Sourav bhai for supporting me throughout my career.
The Indian Express

5. But you’d be wrong to think that he only cared about his team, Ganguly was just as sweet with his opponents. For instance, when Pakistan player Saqlain Mushtaq was recovering from knee surgeries, the Indian captain went to his dressing room, offered him coffee and inquired about his health.

That’s something, Saqlain remembers till date:

I was making a comeback in that post surgery and Sourav had come to watch that match. When Sussex were batting, Sourav had seen me from the balcony. Ganguly then came to our dressing room and offered me a cup of coffee and enquired about my knees, life, family. Then we just started talking. He sat with me for 40 minutes and ended up winning my heart.
ganguly and saqlain mushtaq
Weekly Voice

6. On the day of his daughter’s annaprashan, Ganguly invited Santosh, the guy who ran a chai shop near the cricket stadium in Kolkata. He sent a car to pick up Santosh, dropped him after the ceremony, and included him in the festivities just like other family members. 

Narrating the story, Joy Bhattacharjya says that the loyalty Sourav enjoys is because of gestures like this one.

7. I’ll end this with a fan account. A guy on Quora shared his story of meeting Ganguly, saying that once him and his dad went to the bar lounge owned by Ganguly. They were waiting for their drinks when they spotted cockroaches on the table and moved to another one. Later, Dada not only came and talked to them, but also waived off their entire bill.

A line from his answer reads, “He didn’t want you to leave thinking about cockroaches,” said the bartender when we asked him for the bill.

My Khel

Good guy Ganguly.