Ganguly’s wife, teammates relive iconic Lord’s celebration


Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) Indian cricket fans always remember the iconic moment 19 years ago when the then Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly took his shirt off at the Lord’s balcony after India chased a target of 325 to win the NatWest Series final against England in London.

India looked down and out in that match on July 13, 2002, having lost five wickets for 146 runs while chasing a mammoth 325/5 posted by hosts England.

But Yuvraj Singh (69) and Mohammad Kaif (87 not out), who were then youngsters, came together in a partnership that eventually won India the match. Ganguly was so excited by this thrilling victory that he took his shirt off and waved it over his head, as retaliation to a similar gesture by England allrounder Andrew Flintoff at the Wankhede stadium after England’s win in the sixth and final ODI in 2002.

Tuesday (July 13) was the 19 anniversary of that Lord’s win and Ganguly’s wife Dona, and his teammates VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid re-lived that moment, calling it a “fantastic gesture” by Dada.

“I think it’s just wonderful because you always break the rule. It’s such a proper place and even Sourav said I shouldn’t have done that, it just came out. But I think it was a fantastic gesture. I enjoyed it! All the Bengalis do!” Dona Ganguly told to — the official website of IPL franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders.

Both Laxman and Dravid said they were shocked initially but supported it later.

“Unconventional and fiercely proud, Ganguly wore his heart on his sleeve. And, sometimes, bared it too! Empowering youngsters who went on to do wonders for the country was credit to his great leadership qualities,” Laxman said.

Dravid revealed that spinner Harbhajan Singh too wanted to emulate Dada but he stopped him from doing so.

“I was shocked to be honest! I was like what’s Dada up to! What’s going on! Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) was sitting next to me, and I remember even he wanted to do it. I was pulling his shirt down and holding it, not letting him remove his shirt. Maybe I don’t know Bhajji’s body might have been a little better than Dada’s!” said Dravid.

Though later Ganguly felt that he should have been more restrained in his celebration, the moment has been etched in the memories of Indian fans, who will keep him reminding of it every year on July 13.


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