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The Rediff Special
Father Chandi on Sourav's 100th Test
December 24, 2007
In 1996, when Sourav Ganguly [Images] was creating electricity on debut at Lord's, there was paradoxically no electricity in the Ganguly home in Behala. Father Chandidas Ganguly speaks of following his son's sensational debut over the phone, and of what it means to have a cricketing superstar as his son.
"Sourav was a kid when he came with me to the cricket ground for the first time. He use to love football a lot. Once I just gave him bat and asked him to hit a few balls. To my surprise he was hitting the ball very sweetly. He immediately asked me to enter his name in any of the coaching camps. I took him to Dukhiram Coaching Centre. The coach was amazed by Sourav's skills. He asked me "ChandiDa why have you kept this talent unexplored? Within one year Sourav represented Bengal team in junior level cricket. Next year he scored enough runs for Bengal team and was automatically selected for East Zone team. I can not believe that now Sourav is going to play his 100th Test match. This is more than dream for our family.
Sourav was thrown out of the team for more than a year. It was a tough time for him and for us too as parents. I always believed that Sourav is too good a player to be dropped. But he worked very hard on his fitness and his batting skills. When he was given a chance to stage come back we were happy. He played well in South Africa last year. Then the England [Images] series came on. We thought that if he is playing well in his 94th Test match at Lords then he can play 100 Tests too. Trust me none of us can forget his Test debut match at Lord's. He was playing well in his 80s and suddenly there was no electricity in our home. We were nervous. We have our close relative in England. We were continually calling Animesh Mukherjee. He said "Don't worry, Sourav is playing well and he will get his 100. Then after few minutes he called us to say that Sourav had completed his century. There was a huge sigh of relief for all of us.
My elder son Snehashish was also very competent batsman. He served Bengal Ranji team for many years. My father gave nicknames for Snehashish and Sourav. Snehashish's nick name is Raj and Sourav is Maharaj. Maharaj has done us proud by playing in 300 ODIs. He completed 10000 runs in ODIs and has taken more than 100 wickets and more than 100 catches. That is why I offered prayer to God saying that bless Sourav to play 100 Test matches too. Today Sourav will enter MCG to take part in his 100th Test match.
Because of our business Ganguly family has already earned enough respect in Kolkata. But now that name is even more familiar because of Sourav's achievements. His deeds on the cricket field have given Ganguly family lot of media exposure. I would say that because of him our family is in the limelight all the time. I am so happy that neither our life style nor his behaviour has changed a bit. All of us will be so happy and proud to see Maharaj enter MCG for Boxing Day match to take part in his 100th test match.
I expect him to play good international cricket for two more years. All of us know that how people of Kolkata love and admire Sourav. Whenever he retires he has made it clear that he will not be interested in entering into the family business. He will surely play his part in guiding young cricketers of Bengal. Other than that, I think, he also may play an active and positive role in social life."