Indian cricket legend Sourav Ganguly, who is President of the Cricket Association of Bengal, has led India to many a memorable victories and is considered one of the most gifted left-handed batsmen the sport has ever seen. He is also the man who redesigned the Indian cricket team and inflicted the zeal to win.
This former cricketer, affectionately called Dada, recently published his autobiography named, ‘A Century Is Not Enough’. Besides struggles and achievement of his cricket life, he also shared many candid memories.
He recalled getting a call from then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that made him felt ‘mortified.’ He recollected:
“Facing Wasim Akram’s deadly in-cutter was less scary!”
This incident happened during India’s Pakistan tour in 2004. Expectedly, the security of the Indian cricketers was quite tight. Thus, when he discovered his friends are making plans to visit Gawalmandi, he decided to evade the security to be on his own. It’s world famous food street for kebabs and tandoori dishes.
In his words:
“I didn’t inform our security officer as I knew he would have stopped me. I had only told our team manager Ratnakar Shetty. I slipped through the backdoor with a cap which covered half my face. I knew I was breaking the rules, but I felt I had to get away from the rifles and tanks.”
His popularity, at that time, was not only restricted to India but spread all over the world. He devised the plan to answer ‘No’ in a modulated voice if anyone recognizes him and ask for his identity.
His bluff was working fine until famous journalist Rajdeep Sardesai recognized and called him out. Sourav said:
“We were about to finish our dinner when someone finally called my bluff. A few yards from where we sat was journalist Rajdeep Sardesai. The moment Rajdeep spotted me, he started shouting, Sourav, Sourav. I knew I was in trouble.”
As soon as he was recognized, people gathered from all directions to get a glimpse of the Indian cricketer, who scored 7,212 Test runs and 11,363 runs in ODIs. Sourav recollected:
“People started coming in from all directions and I got gheraoed-…While I tried to pay the bill and escape, the shopkeeper refused to accept payment. He kept on saying, ‘Bahut achcha. We need someone as aggressive as you to lead Pakistan’.”
His adventure of evading the security wasn’t over. He remembered being chased by a bike when he was getting back to the hotel.
“While we were making our way back to the hotel a speeding motorbike chased our car. The biker was asking me to roll down the window. My co-passengers kept telling me not to as they feared he might have a bomb. I, however, did not see any threat and obliged. He stretched out his hand and echoed the shopkeeper in Food Street, ‘I am a big fan of yours. Pakistan needs a leader like you.”
Ganguly enjoyed his food and also reached the hotel safely but his day had something else in the store. Upon his arrival, he received a call from then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf who asked Saurav to inform the security next time he wants an adventure. This is what he shared:
“President Musharraf was polite but firm. He said, ‘Next time you want to go out please inform the security and we will have an entourage with you. But please don’t indulge in adventures’.”
Besides this incident, he also opened up about his trip to Pakistan. He recollected that his tour was wonderful with amazing foods and helpful people. Furthermore, he added it’s a beautiful country with the combination of harshness and softness. Here is the video of his interview:
— Deepak Raj Verma (@iconicdeepak) March 5, 2018
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