Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman
Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman. Image-Twitter

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president and former India captain Sourav Ganguly said he never competed with his teammates and shared the responsibility with them.

Ganguly led the Indian team in 195 matches in Tests and One-Day Internationals between 1999 and 2005. Under his leadership, India won 97 games in the two oldest formats.

There is a difference between being a captain and a leader: Sourav Ganguly

Ganguly was often known for his aggressive mindset on the pitch, be it waving his shirt, bare-chested, at the Lord’s balcony after India’s triumphant in the Natwest series final in 2002. Or just say his feud with then-head coach Greg Chappell was scripted as one of the ugliest chapters in Indian cricket.

Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly Shirtless Celebration At Lord’s (Image Credit: Twitter)

But one thing no one would deny is that Ganguly would stand for his players and would be vocal when he smelled something was wrong. Ganguly’s famous series win was the 2001 Border Gavaskar series victory against the No.1 ranked Australian side. India won 2-1 despite going down in the first match in Mumbai.

“There is a difference between being a captain and a leader, in a titular position as a captain, how did you make the seniors, and the youngsters believe in your leadership.

“Captaincy, to me, is leading a team on the ground, and leadership, to me, is building a team. So, whether I worked with Sachin, Azhar, or Dravid, I didn’t compete with them; instead, I collaborated with them as leaders and shared responsibility,” Ganguly said during an exclusive gathering organised by The Economic Times India Leadership Council.

I had some great players under me: Sourav Ganguly

Many great Indian players like Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, and Mohammad Kaif were groomed under the effective leadership of Ganguly. Even India’s greatest skipper MS Dhoni started his career when Ganguly was the captain of the Indian team.

“I have seen the actual transformation of cricket over time. There were people with different mindsets, and I realised very early on that there was no shortage of talent within the team. But talent without exposure is nothing,” Ganguly said. 

“I had some great players under me who could have gone on to become captain at any time, and I was fortunate enough to meet those great players, so I saw it not only as an honour but also as an opportunity to change things, to make it an even platform for everyone to express themselves.

Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly
Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly. Image-DNA

“When you selected an individual, you firstly selected them based on their abilities, and second, you selected them to succeed. And for me, their career was as important as mine because I know what it took to get here, to represent India,” Ganguly added.

Ganguly retired from all formats of cricket in October 2012 and started a new journey as a cricket administrator. He served as the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal for four years from 2015-to 2019 and in October 2019 was appointed as the president of BCCI.

Also Read: Sourav Ganguly Came Like A God For Me And Held My Hand Through 2001 Series – Harbhajan Singh