Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Magnificent B*****d

You have read millions of articles on 'Dada' evoking love and hate alike. Dileep Peemachandran's cricinfo article on the same topic does not offer new insights to start can skip the "oh no, not again" parts in the first 10 paras.

I suggest you go to the 11th paragraph straightaway, where Dileep begins his account of Ganguly's 144 at Gabba. Indeed it was Dada's finest hour of both batsmanship and leadership.
THAT is when the journey to No. 1 got its wheels.
The last 2 para's are too good, especially in context of a bit of 'unmentionable' history attached to Eden Gardens 2001!

Minutes before he raised his hundred, I'd gone down to the stands where the Fanatics stood, waving their Boxing Kangaroo flags. Some of them had history with Ganguly. On the tour of India in 2001, when India did a Houdini at the Eden Gardens, one of them had told me that they had footage of Ganguly and Harbhajan Singh showing them the middle finger after the victory.

The men and women I was surrounded by weren't admirers. It was fairly apparent that they'd love nothing better than seeing him run out for 99. But when he wasn't, after he had charged between the wickets to make his ground and then run a third of the way to the sightscreen to celebrate, I asked one of the flag-wavers what he thought of the man.

"He's a bastard" was the reply. After a small pause, he added: "But what a magnificent bastard."

That was a delightfully memorable anecdote, Dileep. Thanks a ton.

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