In his playing days, his off-drives were a treat to the eyes. While a couple of decades later, his words are delicacies not less juicy for the ears. So have this for a nice reading of 8 interesting instances how Sourav Ganguly nailed the points with his perfect satirical timings off the mouth, on the mike.
(1) Sourav Ganguly was sharing the duties with Sunil Gavaskar and Harsha Bhogle for a must-win match between India and England at Perth for a tri-series just preceding the 2015 World Cup. With a match sans Australia in the middle, the initial expectation was that the footfall might not cross a few thousands, but however in reality the masses came in good numbers as Sunil Gavaskar went, “The attendance today is 7653.” to which the southpaw replied, “We have that attendance in Durga Puja.”
(2) On occasion of Sachin’s 199th Test match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata when the nation as well as the city was observing the “Sachin fortnight”, Harsha Bhogle tossed up, “Do you think Sachin will be more popular than you during that Kolkata Test match?” “ But only for those five days.” – came the instant off-drive.
(3) Dada hits Ravi Shastri over the park for another issue regarding that Eden Gardens. Shastri: “In Eden Gardens, Kolkata, is there a Ganguly pavilion or Ganguly stand?” Ganguly: “The ground belongs to Ganguly!”
(4) During the Indo-Pak game at 2015 World Cup, Harsha enquired Ganguly, “Have you seen the new ‘Mauka Mauka’ Ad?” to which the current CAB President replied, “Yes, I have seen that ad and this ad will remain the same for next 10 to 12 years coz Pakistan will never beat India in World Cup.”
(5) Now here Harsha teamed up with Dada to silence Nasser Hussain who sarcastically chipped in with, “When can I see India playing in a FIFA World Cup?” Bhogle retorted instantly in with his “It’s better not to participate rather than getting knocked out in the first round.” Before Ganguly nails it with “If India had played World Cup for 50 years, then they would have qualified for the finals – unlike England!”
(6) In the humiliating tour to England in 2011 where all Indian batsmen struggled except Rahul Dravid, David Lloyd went as, “The beauty of Indian batting is when someone like Tendulkar fails, someone else does it and this time it was Rahul Dravid.” Then the former Indian leader stepped in to summarize the contribution of his once-deputy in “This time? He has done it time and again. He has done it day in and day out for 15 years.”
(7) However there was no love lost between Ganguly and Dravid as they had a nice little tug-of-war in the English summers of 2014, to describe which is beyond words (click here for the YouTube link) with the Kolkatan once claiming, “I wish I was Prime Minister of India, I could have done a whole lot of things.” Later when Dravid started to belittle Ganguly’s contribution in the historic 2007 Test series win in England, he twisted it a little farther with “I bowled 10 overs on the trot for 1 for 15. I’ve seen biased people, but I’ve not seen as much.” Once again, Harsha Bhogle too had his share of “needles” in this epic banter of around three minutes.
(8) Again Ganguly takes on his admirer Geoffrey Boycott, when the latter asked him, “You must mention your experience about taking your jersey off and flying it in the air at the Mecca of Cricket – Lord’s! Ohhh, you naughty boy!” And Boycott’s “Prince of Calcutta” replied in his lingo, “One of your boys also took off his jersey here in Mumbai.” The English man continued with, “Yeah, but Lord’s is the Mecca of cricket.” – only to get owned by Dada with, “Lord’s is your Mecca, and Wankhede is ours!”
And here are some others away from the commentary-box.
- In a TV interview, journalist Rajdeep Sardesai asked Ganguly about the Greg Chappell fiasco, “Does Greg Chappell owe an apology to Indian cricket? To Sachin Tendulkar, to Sourav Ganguly, to Dravid?” And pat came the sixer, “He can call up Tendulkar or Dravid. But he dare not dial my number. If he is hearing this on TV, he dare not call Sourav Ganguly.”
- After Sachin’s autobiography “Playing It My Way” became an instant hit, one of Ganguly’s fan enquired his hero in the latter’s reality show Dadagiri when he is planiing to come out with his own. Ganguly had his “Bapi Bari Ja” moment (read, hits a sixer) when he replied, “When I do, it will create tremors, large ones. I’m just waiting.”
- In a post-match analysis about Shahid Afridi’s insensible batting, Ganguly had co-analysts Kevin Pietersen and Simon Doull in laughters with “It’s about calculations and about brains, and at the moment Afridi has left it back in Pakistan.”