Sourav Ganguly has been named among the 30 probables for the ICC Champions Trophy. Now, isn’t that fantastic? As everybody knows cricket is still an 11-member game. But the final team list that is to be sent to the ICC next month will have 14 names. So the chances of him returning to the squad are definitely higher than an infinite number of monkeys banging away on an infinite number of typewriters to produce a Shakespearean work.
But Martians with no prior knowledge of Ganguly are allowed to be surprised by his inclusion in the list. After all, Dada hasn’t been exactly burning the 22-yard in his English county cricket stint with Northamptonshire. Nor did he go out into the wilderness in a blaze — averaging 23.5 in 20 ODI matches between September 2004 and September 2005 is not even a matchstick fire. Our hearts were in our pads when in December 2005, Ganguly was dropped for the third Test against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad. Fans, including West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, were appalled and smelt a murine selector in the board. The sun briefly shone when Dada was included in the squad touring Pakistan. The sun returned quickly behind the pavilion when he remained a non-playing member of the squad throughout the series.
But Ganguly’s ‘recall’ is bound to send hearts pacing again. Moving away from Jagmohan Dalmiya may have paid some dividends. We sure hope Ganguly the best and hope to see him soon carrying drinks on to the field in the same manful way he did in Australia in 1990-91.