Mashrafe Mortaza, former Bangladesh captain, has picked champions Indian leaders in Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni and the two-time World Cup-winning captain Ricky Ponting as his favorite captains of all times.
Mortaza, who is himself one of the great leaders of the modern era, someone who instilled a killer instinct in the Bangladeshi team, recently gave an interview to Business Standard where he picked his compatriot Habibul Bashar as his favorite captain as the best Bangladesh captain.
Mortaza also hailed Imran Khan as one of the great leaders of the game but refrained from picking him in his top-3 as he reckoned that he hadn’t seen enough of the Pakistani legend.
“As a captain, I never followed anyone. Sumon (Habibul Bashar) is the best skipper from Bangladesh. If I had to pick from the entire world, I will go for Sourav Ganguly. I heard a lot about Imran Khan, but didn’t get to see him much,” Mashrafe Mortaza was quoted as saying in an interview with Business Standard.
“From the ones I have seen, I would pick Ricky Ponting, though everyone may say that he was lucky to get a strong team. But I will say that the team needed to be taken care of even with big names. There are lot of players, who had records similar to Ponting. They needed to be managed as well.”he added.
‘Ganguly was very different’- Mashrafe Mortaza
When it came to picking his favorite captains from around the world, the right-handed bowler picked Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and Ricky Ponting. But among these three, Mortaza picked the ‘Prince of Kolkata’ Sourav Ganguly.
“So, after Ponting and Ganguly, I’ll go for MS Dhoni. I have seen Dhoni throughout his career. These are my best three. Among them, Ganguly was very different and I would be placing him ahead of Dhoni and Ponting,” Mashrafe Mortaza added.
Sourav Ganguly is widely regarded as the modern-day godfather of Indian cricket. Ganguly took over the reins of the Indian team when the match-fixing allegations had ripped its reputation to tatters.
Under Ganguly, India started winning abroad as they notched up impressive wins in England [1-1 in 2002], Australia [1-1 in 2003-04] which was followed by a historic series win in Pakistan in 2004. Under Ganguly, India went on to reach the finals of the 2003 World Cup where they eventually lost to Australia.
But more than the results, Ganguly’s biggest achievement was that he gave opportunities and prepared players for the future. The likes of Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni, Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan all blossomed under his leadership and went on to become match-winners for Team India in years to follow.