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India vs England: Sourav Ganguly told VVS Laxman to follow suit after removing shirt at Lord’s

Sourav Ganguly removing his shirt to celebrate India’s win in the tri-series final at Lord’s in 2002 might not have happened at all if the then-skipper had paid heed to VVS Laxman’s advice.

cricket Updated: Jul 27, 2018 14:38 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs England,Sourav Ganguly,VVS Laxman
Sourav Ganguly swirls his shirt after Team India defeated England in the final match of the Natwest Trophy, at the balcony of the Lords in London, 2002. (PTI)

Sourav Ganguly removing his shirt and twirling it over his head after India won the Natwest ODI tri-series final at Lord’s in 2002 is an image that has become iconic in the eyes of Indian cricket fans.

The defiant manner in which the then-Indian cricket team skipper celebrated what at one stage looked like an improbable win in the final has since been replayed countless times on TV.

However, the moment might not have happened at all if Ganguly had listened to VVS Laxman’s advice as he was pulling his shirt off!

“I was standing on the right side. VVS Laxman was on my left and Harbhajan Singh was behind my back. So, as I was removing my T-shirt, VVS tried to tell me, ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it!’ After I removed my shirt, he asked, ‘What do I do now?’ And I said, ‘You also remove your shirt!’,” Ganguly revealed on an episode of the web series “Breakfast with Champions”.

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“The idea came to my mind just at the moment. I remembered how Andrew Flintoff took off his shirt at Wankhede to celebrate a 3-3 series draw before, and I just thought why not do the same at Lord’s,” he added.

However, Ganguly did go on to add that the decision to wave his shirt around in that manner was something he went on to regret in retrospect.

“But I am also embarrassed about the incident. My daughter once asked, ‘Why did you do that? Is it necessary to do that in cricket?’ And I had to tell her that ‘No, I did it once by mistake’. Somethings things happen in life in which you do not have any control,” he said.

‘Expect lots from Kohli’

Ganguly also went on to praise both the batting ability as well as the fitness-driven mindset of India’s current Test captain Virat Kohli.

“When Virat Kohli plays, I feel you have to see him bat, irrespective of where you are. When you see him, it looks like he wants his players to form the best team,” he said.

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“He is focusing on fitness, he has brought yo-yo test. People can criticise but there is a reason for this. The sport has become fitness-oriented,” he added.

“I have a lot of expectations from Virat. I hope he can win the Test series against England. The country has faith in him,” he added.

The first Test between India and England begins on August 1 at Edgbaston.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 14:27 IST