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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Sourav Ganguly reveals how Imran Khan came to his aid during Greg Chappell feud

Sourav Ganguly had lost both his captaincy and his place in the side under the-then Indian cricket team coach Greg Chappell, but a piece of advice from former Pakistan captain Imran Khan helped him turn the tables

cricket Updated: Dec 02, 2017 13:50 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Sourav Ganguly received advice from Imran Khan during the infamous Greg Chappell era
Sourav Ganguly received advice from Imran Khan during the infamous Greg Chappell era(HT Photo)

In cricket, there are hardly clashes that match the tempo of an India-Pakistan tie. With the two nations at loggerheads, tension on the border and a history of wars between the two, one doesn’t have to look too far to find the surplus of emotions, intensity and passion. However, such is the beauty of the sport, despite being rivals on field and their fans at war with each other, players of both the teams have often admitted that they often help each other out and share a cordial relationship off the pitch. (IND v SL 3rd Test UPDATES | SCORECARD)

Recently, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly too admitted the same and lauded legendary Pakistan captain Imran Khan to have helped him out during the infamous Greg Chappell era. From being publicly criticised, losing his captaincy and even being dropped from the squad, Ganguly’s career had a drastic dip with Chappell around. Speaking at the India Today Conclave recently, the southpaw stated that he was confused as often he failed to understand what kept him away from the side.

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“I was so angry that I started running at Eden Gardens. It was about 2006. I kept running at Eden Gardens. I kept running, running and running till I finished 21 laps. The last six or seven were just out of anger,” Ganguly said. It was under him that the side had reached the World Cup final in 2003 and had been performing well away from home conditions.

“It was tough but it made me a better person. I once met Imran Khan in Lahore during that period. He was actually following Indian cricket. We have a fantastic relationship, Imran and myself. He said something to me which I always remember in life. When you fly high and see dark clouds, you find a way to fly higher. I remembered those words during that (tough) period,” Ganguly added.

And he did come back in style scoring an unbeaten half-century against South Africa in a Test match in Johannesburg. His ODI return was on an even better note as he notched up 98 against West Indies in Nagpur. However, Ganguly stayed in the fray for around two years more, retiring from all formats of the game in November 2008. He featured in 25 Tests and 32 ODIs after making the comeback and improved his batting average from 40.78 in Tests to 46.30 in the remaining matches. His ODI batting average too went up from 40.65 to 44.28.

First Published: Dec 02, 2017 13:47 IST