Kolkata: Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly on Friday said that he was, “desperate” to become the coach of the Indian team whereas he ended up becoming an administrator.
Speaking at the India Today conclave East 2017, Ganguly said, “You should do what you can and not thinking about the outcome. You never know where life goes, you never know where life will take you. I went to Australia in 1999, I wasn’t even the vice-captain. Sachin (Tendulkar) was the captain and in three months I became the captain of India.”
“When I got into administration, I was desperate to be the coach of the national side. (Jagmohan) Dalmiya called me and said ‘why you don’t you try for six months’. He passed away and none was around, so I became the CAB president. People take 20 years to become president. You have to live for the day,” he also added.
The Bengal southpaw was one of India’s most successful skippers in Indian cricket but was dropped in January 2006. He made a determined comeback the same year in December against South Africa in Johannesburg and scored an unbeaten 51 in a Test match.
The following year, runs continued to flow from his bat as he scored a hundred as well as a double hundred against Pakistan at home before calling it quits in 2008 against Australia in Nagpur.
He said, “As I announced retirement in 2008, Sachin came at lunch and asked me ‘why did you take such a decision?’ I said because I don’t want to play any more. He then said ‘this is the best time to see you play in such flow. Last three years had been your best’.
“I retired because at some point you’ve had enough. The reason is not because you have had enough of playing the sport but because you’ve had enough of getting selected all the time. I remember those days and think individual sports is a lot better when you are not dependent on team,” he added further.
The CAB president also went on to say that the biggest problem of playing a team sport is the fact that one is selected by the others and it isn’t necessary for a person to perform well to be selected or omitted from a squad.
He said, “I often keep telling that Leander (Paes) plays this way because he rules his life. On the flip side if you go down ladder it is difficult to come back. Being dropped and getting selected are part and parcel of every sport. Greats like Diego Maradona, Rahul Dravid all made way for someone else. They could have played more.”
The 45-year-old was involved in a spat with Australian Greg Chappell-a controversy that shook Indian cricket in the past decade. Calling the entire episode as an eye-opener, Ganguly said, “Before that, from 1995-2006, the graph was only up. I never missed a series. I was captain of India for six years. The world was at my feet till 2006.
“Not many captains in the world would go from not being captain to not even being in the side.”
He also spoke of current skipper Virat Kohli’s treatment of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“You look at Dhoni. He is not the captain of the team but look at the way Kohli looks after him and they go about their job,” he said.