27 November, 2020

Maharaj As King Or Everyone's Prince?

Sourav Ganguly’s innate charisma and sense of timing makes him unputdownable. His articulation and street-smart wit as a TV show host have sustained his popularity, writes Ruben Banerjee, Outlook's Editor-in-Chief

Illustration by Saahil
Maharaj As King Or Everyone's Prince?

I hold a grudge against Sourav Ganguly, despite being his huge fan like every other Bengali and a sizeable section of fellow Indians. My disappointment with Dada is purely personal. Trailing his on-field exploits, particularly those exquisite off-side drives, gave a high that seemed to infuse a purpose in life in an otherwise predictable existence as an NRI in West Asia’s deserts. I wished to feast on it more and track Ganguly in action in greater detail on an ultra-big-screen TV. But barely hours after I burnt a big hole in my pocket and brought the set home, Ganguly announced his retirement. I felt deprived and devastated.

Some eleven years later, I am not too sure whether I should be still shouldering the sense of disappointment that I have been silently carrying since that crestfallen evening in 2008, or rejoice in delight since Ganguly is back with a bang—this time at the helm of the BCCI. Nothing that Ganguly does goes unnoticed and his reinvention as the country’s top cricket administrator has predictably ignited fresh speculation that his next...



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