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God of the Offside, Sourav Ganguly, launches his book A Century Is Not Enough at Symbiosis in Pune

The students of the college were treated to a mega event and received a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the former Indian captain up close and personal and also asked him several questions regarding the sport and about his life. Ganguly was joined on the panel by the author of the book Gautam Bhattacharya, who has also written biographies of former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Pankaj Roy.

pune Updated: Sep 25, 2018 16:50 IST
Pranav Shahaney
Pranav Shahaney
Hindustan Times, Pune
A Century Is Not Enough,Symbiosis,Pune
(From left) Rajani R Gupte, vice-chancellor of Symbiosis International (deemed university); professor SB Mujumdar, chancellor; Sourav Ganguly, former Indian cricket captain and Vidya Yeravdekar, pro-chancellor, during the launch of the cricketer’s book A Century Is Not Enough at the university’s Lavale campus on Monday. (HT PHOTO)

He’s aggressive, he’s charismatic and is as engaging a character off the screen as he is on it. He is one of Indian cricket’s iconic figures and arguably its best captain: Sourav Ganguly. Currently plying his trade as the president of the editorial board with Wisden India and the Cricket Association of Bengal, the revered ‘God of the Offside’ officially launched his book ‘A Century Is Not Enough’ on Monday at Symbiosis Institute, Lavale.

The students of the college were treated to a mega event and received a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the former Indian captain up close and personal and also asked him several questions regarding the sport and about his life. Ganguly was joined on the panel by the author of the book Gautam Bhattacharya, who has also written biographies of former Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Pankaj Roy.

Prakash Iyer, the former Mumbai Indians manager, anchored the panel discussion, asking the duo several questions about the book and the sport as a whole.

Giving an insight on his book and a clarification about what it was, in some ways, Ganguly said: “This book is not an autobiography. It’s on various facets of my life. I’m not a great writer or reader so this book is only possible because of Gautam (Bhattacharya). It basically speaks about the challenges each one of us faces in our day-to-day lives. Because I believe the way to go about your problems is your problems is your attitude, the way you look at life. So this book talks about the importance of leadership and how when the chips are down it is important to believe in yourself and continue moving forward.”

Unlike many biographies that follow the chronological order of the birth of the hero and his rise to the top, ‘A Century Is Not Enough’ begins with the man from West Bengal in a state of disarray, questioning whether or not the time has arrived for him to hang his boots and call it a day from the sport he’s loved ever since he remembers anything.

Bhattacharya in fact, got in touch with a famous Bollywood actor, producer and film writer Salim Khan and asked him how he created the ‘Angry young man’ persona on celluloid like he did with Amitabh Bachchan in 1973’s hit film Zanjeer, as the author thought Ganguly evoked a similar dynamic spark to the revered actor.

Explaining the decision to write the story as a flashback, Bhattacharya stated, “He (Ganguly) is not like your prototype Indian cricketer. Even as a commentator you know where he stands. He never beats around the bush or mince his words and as a cricketer he was no different. So after speaking with Mr. Khan, he advised me to begin with the most vulnerable day of his life, the day despite all the highs, he attains a low. And Durga Poojan has a great significance to Sourav as it does with all Bengalis, so that’s where I decided to start the book.”

In the book, the various ups and downs of Ganguly’s life are explained in great detail and the resilience and character of the 46-year-old are showcased as he fought out of all the obstacles that came his way to become the face of Indian cricket. A line from a particular chapter caught the eye of Iyer. “It was like driving a Rolls Royce one day and sleeping on the streets the next day”, he said, quoting a line from the book where Ganguly spoke about being dropped from the team for the first time in eleven years after the appointment of Greg Chappell as the team’s coach.

The title of the book also raised a few eyebrows and bewildered many, but Ganguly and Bhattacharya had a simple explanation as to why a century is never enough. “When you look about a cricketer’s life you can see how confident he is, how glamorous everything around him is, how so many people at cricket grounds turn up and support you. Behind all this is the reality. It’s the efforts and the ups and downs. It’s about all the struggles that you go through. What all leads to the end product is a part of this book which includes the pressures of life because there’s a massive drop from the international level to first class cricket and you have to deal with such things as it can happen to you at any time.”

First Published: Sep 25, 2018 16:49 IST