Saturday, December 10, 2022

Seven captains in seven series is not ideal, but we can’t do much about it: Sourav Ganguly Cricket News – Nation World News

NEW DELHI: For someone who has always believed in consistency, Sourav Ganguly says having seven India captains in so many months is “not ideal”. But things ended this way due to factors that were beyond one’s control.
Celebrating his 50th birthday with friends and family in London, the BCCI President and one of the most fascinating characters in Indian cricket spoke on a range of issues.
The discussion included current issues like multiple captaincy, workload management, huge media rights assessment and head of the board. He also took a trip down memory lane remembering his time as a player and captain.
Interview excerpts:
Question: We have Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah India captain and now Shikhar Dhawan for ODI. Continuity has been affected. What’s your take on that?
A: I completely agree that having seven different captains in such a short span of time is not ideal, but it has happened because of the unavoidable situation. Like Rohit was all set to lead with the white ball in South Africa but got injured before the tour. So we had KL (Rahul) leading the ODIs and then for this recent SA home series, KL got injured a day before the series started.
In England, Rohit was playing a warm-up game when he had COVID-19. No one is to blame for these situations. The calendar is such that we have to give breaks to the players and then there are injuries and we also need to focus on workload management. You have to feel for head coach Rahul (Dravid), as in every series, due to unavoidable circumstances, we have a new captain.
Q: Do you think the Choc-a-Block FTP calendar is creating a situation where we are seeing players taking too many breaks due to workload management issues?
A: Let me tell you something that I have believed in during my international career. The more you play, the better you get and the fitter you become. At this stage, you need game time and your body gets stronger as you start playing more and more sports.
Yes, IPL started from 2008 but I would like you to check how much international cricket we have played in our career. If you compare, there has not been a significant increase in the amount of international cricket for the Indian team in a calendar year. We have played a lot of one-day cricket, so if you see, the number of international match days is almost the same.

Q: Now we have 10 IPL teams and BCCI is set to earn more than Rs 60,000 crore in the coming years through sale of teams and media rights. Do you fear that there might be a compromise in the quality of the players which we will prepare in future as the numbers increase?
A: Not at all. On the contrary, I would say that the pool of talent in Indian cricket will only grow with the passage of time and IPL has shown us how much talent we have in this country. You look at the two Indian teams (white and red ball) and look at the players we have been producing over the years.
Q: Let’s talk a little bit about your almost three years as BCCI President. How has the tenure been for you and what challenges do you think you have faced?
A: When I became president in 2019, it was with the consent of the member associations of BCCI, and it has been a wonderful experience. You get a serious chance to work for the betterment of Indian cricket and change things.
Being able to hold the event in two COVID-19 years was challenging, but the BCCI as a team pulled off both IPL and domestic cricket (men’s and women’s) well.
When I joined the BCCI, I already had five years of experience in administration, working as the joint secretary of the CAB and later as the president.
You can say that in 2014, I retired from competitive cricket for two years after playing IPL till 2012, and I was pushed into the CAB administration. It was interesting as well as a challenging experience for me.
Q: Did you regret retiring in the 2008 season, when you were probably at your best in Test cricket, scoring runs against England in England, Pakistan (Man of the Series) and great swansong against Australia?
A: I can tell you one thing about myself. I have never regretted anything in my life. If I retire after the series against Australia, it is a matter of time when I was at a very high level.
And you were talking about Test matches, but would like to remind you that I scored around 1250 runs (1240 to be exact) in the 2007 season, when I was dropped from the ODI team. I had 12 fifties in 50 overs that year.

Q: More than on-field, did you miss the dressing room and being one of the boys?
A: I don’t remember the dressing room. I never left anything. Nothing lasts forever. Everything has to end. I had a great career and it was time to move on and I’m glad I finished on a high. You just have to keep going in life. Times change, and your role changes.
Q: During the period between 1992 and 1996 when you were out of the Indian team and then for almost a year during the Greg Chappell era, did you ever feel that outside forces were trying to destroy your career. Did you get angry or have a complaint about those steps?
A: I have learned one thing in my life. No one can ever end your career. If you have the skills, self-belief and confidence to determine your own destiny, you will do it.
In 1992, when I was dropped after the tour of Australia, I was very young and had a long time. So instead of getting angry at who said what about me, I was more focused on the withdrawal process. That means a waste of time.
Q: 131 on debut at Lord’s, 144 in Gabba as India captain or 51 in your comeback test at Johannesburg in 2006. Which was more challenging?
A: Add to this list an 87 on Rank Turner at Green Park against a good South African attack. But it is difficult to pick an innings. At Lord’s, I was making my Test debut, which has its own pressure. I was leading the team at the Gabba and I had to show the way against Australia.
In Johannesburg, it was very different as I was laid off for almost a year. I think the surface was very challenging and hardly anyone has scored a fifty in that game.
But the Kanpur innings would be one of my favorites as it gave me more satisfaction than I could have scored 160 runs on a flat deck.
Q: So how are you feeling on your 50th birthday?
A: No special feeling because nothing stops in life.

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