‘Ganguly came to our dressing room and asked us not to create an issue:’ Sangakkara recalls incident regarding Dada
Ganguly entered the Sri Lankan dressing room after the match to check whether everyone was on the same page regarding a particular incident.
Who can forget the stand-off between Sourav Ganguly and Russel Arnold during the 2002 Champions Trophy final? The sight of Arnold repeatedly running on the pitch and Ganguly getting into the batsman’s face to remind him of his error was purely gold. There was plenty of finger pointing involved and things were on the verge of escalating before the umpire intervened.
Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara, who was keeping wicket in the match, recalled an interesting incident which took place after the match. The two finals were washed out and India and Sri Lanka were declared joint-winners. However, Ganguly, during his captaincy tenure was notorious for being fined for slow over-rates and other offences. Perhaps which is why the former India captain entered the Sri Lankan dressing room after the match to check whether everyone was on the same page regarding the Ganguly-Arnold argument.
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“I remember one very specific incident in a one-day match where he was having this big argument with Russel Arnold. I think Dada was on his final warning and the umpire reported him,” Sangakkara said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
“Dada came to our dressing room and had a chat to us that if this goes the whole distance, he was going to get suspended. And we told him not to worry and that we were not going to make a big deal about it and he was going to be okay.”
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Sangakkara and Ganguly have been rivals on the field but off the field the former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper is believed to share a healthy and cordial relationship with the former India skipper. With Sangakkara serving as the president of the MCC, and Ganguly being the BCCI president, their bond has only gotten better over the years.
“I did get to know Dada quite well over the years and I really enjoyed speaking to Dada on everything, whether it was about playing cricket or captaincy. I got to know Dada a lot more intimately,” Sangakkara said.
“Dada was a very practical man. He understood exactly what he could and how far he could push it on the field. But off the field, he is a fantastic guy. I have had a great time in conversations with him at various times over meals and he was a guy I really respected both on and off the field.”