It is no mean feat to be enlisted as the presidential designate of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, the richest (and therefore the most powerful) cricketing governance body. And with the recent rooting surrounding the beloved Dada of Indian cricket Sourav Ganguly, it’s only understood the adulation and power this prolific cricketer continues to command.
A prolific batsman of his times and one of India’s most successful captains, Ganguly is often lauded for ushering in a new era in the cricket scene of the country. From promoting the brand of aggressive cricket to leading from the front and impressing every time with his leadership abilities, Sourav Ganguly is a name that had put India strongly out there on the world cricketing map. Whether it be his shirt undoing heroics in the Natwest Trophy final or leading India to the finals of the 2003 World Cup, Ganguly has been daunting in his pursuit for success and excellence in Indian cricket. Indeed, he has led by example more than often, shattering records and smashing balls with ease and determination. Here’s a roundup of Sourav Ganguly’s most remarkable records that celebrate the prolific, fearless cricketer he has always been-
Unique record on both debut and farewell
The aura of Sourav Ganguly was such that both his debut Test match and his final appearance on field proved to be remarkable in their own ways. While Ganguly scored a century on debut against England at the iconic Lord’s in 1996, he was interestingly bowled out for a first ball duck by debutante Jason Kreza in his final innings, the fourth match of the India vs Australia series in 2008 at the Nagpur cricket stadium. India eventually won the match by 172 runs that was even captained by Ganguly for a final time at the insistence of the then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Apart from this irony of his final moments on the cricket pitch at the world stage, Ganguly’s rise to eminence on his very debut also is a different type of record altogether. Not only was his centurion score the highest by any batsman on debut at Lord’s, Ganguly also became only the third cricketer in the world to register a century on debut at the iconic ground.
Man of the Match awards record
Sourav Ganguly remains the only ever cricketer in history to have claimed four back to back Man of the Match awards in One Day Internationals. In the 1997 Sahara Friendship Cup tournament against Pakistan, Dada asserted his supremacy by being the man of the match for four out of five matches in the series which India went on to win 4-1. In even a greater show of his legacy, Ganguly continues to rule the roost as the player who was awarded the most Man of the Match awards in a row, even after more than a decade of his retirement from international cricket.
World Cup record
- Sourav Ganguly’s knock of 183 against Sri Lanka in the 1999 Cricket World Cup remains the highest ever individual score by an Indian in the summit tournament. Even five World Cup tournaments and two decades later- during which India even clinched the World Cup in 2011- Ganguly’s Indian record stands the test of time, though MS Dhoni did manage to equal, but not surpass, it.
- Ganguly has also been the first Indian to score a century in the knockout stage of a World Cup tournament when he smashed an unbeaten 111 against Kenya in the semifinal of the 2003 edition of the same.
- Ganguly’s three centuries in a single edition of the World Cup tournament- the 2003 World Cup to be precise, is also a national record in its own being the most by any Indian captain in the ultimate testing event of the cricketing world.
First Indian to score ODI century against Australia in their own den
Ganguly’s distinction of being the first ever Indian also extends to him being the cricketer who had first smashed a century against a then formidable Australia in Australia when he made 100 off 127 balls in 2000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Champions Trophy records
- Sourav Ganguly was also the first ever player to smash three centuries in a single edition of the ICC Champions Trophy. He achieved this feat in 2002 against England, which remains the highest number of centuries scored exclusively during the duration of the tournament though he is now joined by three other names on the list.
- Not only that, the record for the highest ever individual score by any batsman in an ICC Champions Trophy final also is attributed to Ganguly.
- Ganguly also jointly holds the record for the maximum number of double century partnerships and also the most number of century partnerships in international cricket.
- Apart from century and double century stands, he is also the world record holder for the most number of 50-run partnerships for the first wicket.
- There’s still more to Ganguly’s pursuit of partnership records- his 318 runs partnership with Rahul Dravid against Sri Lanka in the ICC World Cup on 26 May 1999 has been the first ever 300 run partnership in the history of one day international cricket.
Left hander batting records
- With 18,433 international runs in his kitty, Ganguly also holds the record of most runs by an Indian left handed batsman even when he has quit the world stage long back. He also is the highest scoring individual left handed Indian cricketer in both Tests and ODIs for his country, with 7,212 Test runs and 11,221 ODI ones.
- Ganguly also is the Indian left hander with the most international centuries to his name.
- Not only as an Indian left hander, Ganguly’s heroics with the bat also is prominently manifested in a world record. Ganguly has to his credit most ODI centuries as a left-handed batting captain.