I met Sourav Ganguly in St Xaviers college , Calcutta for the 1st time in person, 1993. We actually played a college match together. He was already an Indian player by that time, toured Australia in 1992.
Then we watched the painful 4 years when he was outside the team, and I remember he was frustrated in college campus, after he was not picked against England home series in 1993. He was in good form then. Then came 1996 Lords, and the rest was history. I remember the procession and the crowd that flooded the street of behala (my house is only minutes away from his), on the day he returned from England after that tour.
Then, the graph is always upward, sahara cup, indian captaincy, eradicating the match fixers, winning the natwest, and champions trophy in 2002, world cup final, winning against australia in 2001, winning against pakistan in 2003-04, comeback in 2006, a great run of 2 years in test and ODIs.Its been a marvellous career, and we are so proud and fortunate that Sourav Ganguly was our captain, is our captain, and we are fortunate to be eye-witnesses of the era when cricket in India has been changed by Ganguly. Its always sad when a player goes, cause so much memories of daily life is linked with cricket .
I skiped a tution to watch dada scored 124 against pakistan in dhaka at 1998, ..I was having my 1st exam in US when dada scored that enormous century against south africa in 2001 tri-series, I was in my friends home when the famous natwest shirt waving came..these little things are coming to the memory today. The famous step out sixes, the silky cover drive, the jab on the leg side, the pull shot that he mastered over the years, will be no more to be seen. The memories, the images, the aggressiveness, the mental strentgh, will be always in our hearts. We are proud that we share the same oxygen and earth space with sourav ganguly.
As Satyajit Roy's movie gupee-gayne-bagha-baine said in a song.."Maharajaaaaa..tomare selaam".