Several Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises and cricketers took to social media to wish former India skipper Sourav Ganguly as the BCCI president turned 50 on Friday.
Former India cricketer Manoj Tiwary took to twitter and said, “Many, many happy returns of the day dada @SGanguly99. Have seen ur video where u r dancing while celebrating, great to see that. Keep rocking and have a blessed year ahead.”
Another former India player Laxmi Ratan Shukla wished the former India captain, saying “Happy birthday to you @SGanguly99 dada. Lots of love and respect for you as Always.”
Chennai Super Kings took the occasion to list Ganguly’s achievements and his best knocks.
In an international career spanning more than a decade, Ganguly represented India in 113 Tests and 311 ODIs, scoring close to 19,000 runs in international cricket and plundering 38 centuries.
One of Ganguly’s best innings came against Pakistan in the ODI at Adelaide in 2000. Ganguly scored 141 on that day in January 2000 to help India to a 48-run win. Batting first, India posted 267/6, with Ganguly leading the way with a fabulous 141. His innings was embellished with 12 fours and a six. In reply, Pakistan were bowled out for 219.
Among the other achievements listed by CSK included his 144 against Australia in the 2003 Test at Brisbane, which will rank as the greatest Test knock played by the left-hander away from home. Put in to bat by India, Australia scored 323 in their first innings. In reply, India were in trouble at 62/3, and that is when Ganguly walked out to bat. He scored a 196-ball 144 and put on a partnership of 146 runs with VVS Laxman to help India to a 409. The match ended in a draw.
Royal Challengers Bangalore took the occasion to say Ganguly had “shaped Indian cricket for the better.”
“It’s another half-century for the man who shaped Indian cricket for the better. Wishing @SGanguly99 a very happy 50th birthday. Have an amazing one, legend,” tweeted RCB.
“A special 50 for the Maharaj! @SGanguly99. #HappyBirthdayDada #AmiKKR,” tweeted two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders.
On his international debut in June 1996, Ganguly scored a superb 131 and etched his name in the Lord’s Honour’s Board. England were bowled out for 344 in their first innings, and Ganguly walked out to bat with the Indian scorecard reading 25/1. The left-hander struck a century and helped India pile up a 429. Ganguly struck 20 fours in his knock. The match was drawn.
Ganguly scored the only Test double ton of his career in December 2007 against arch-rivals Pakistan. Batting first, India amassed a massive total of 626, with Ganguly leading the way with a superb 239. India were in trouble at 61/4, but Ganguly forged a sensational 300-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh for the fifth wicket. The left-handed batting legend struck 30 fours and two sixes in his knock. The match ended in a draw.
“424 international matches, 18,575 international runs. Here’s wishing the Prince of Kolkata and the President of BCCI Sourav Ganguly a very #HappyBirthday! #PunjabKings #SaddaPunjab,” tweeted Punjab Kings.
Ganguly played arguably the best knock of his career during the 1999 World Cup against Sri Lanka. Put in to bat by Sri Lanka, India lost their first wicket with just six on the board. But after that, there was no respite for Sri Lanka. Ganguly, along with Rahul Dravid tore into the Sri Lankan bowling attack, as the Ganguly-Dravid duo put on a mammoth partnership of 318 runs for the second wicket.
Ganguly scored 183. India piled up a total of 373/6 and won the match by 157 runs. Ganguly’s 183 till date remains the highest individual score by an Indian batter in World Cup cricket.