The future of Indian cricket
Ganguly takes off his shirt one last time
It wasn’t the way Saurav Ganguly wanted to walk off into the sunset. A century in Nagpur, the final test of India’s most successful test skipper, would have made it memorable.
Instead, the ‘Prince of Kolkata’ was dismissed first ball in his final innings, becoming only the second cricketer after England’s Billy Griffith to score a century in his first test innings and a duck in his last.
India went on to win the test, sealing their first series victory over Australia in seven years. But Ganguly’s bid to go out with a bang had fizzled out.
Or so we thought.
After the match and the presentation ceremony, his admirers clamoured for the 36-year-old left-hander to come out of the players’ dressing room.
Ganguly obliged, took off his shirt and hurled it into the midst of his delirious fans.
It was a throwback to 2002 when a frenzied Ganguly took off his shirt and waved it from the Lord’s balcony after India achieved an improbable win against England in a one-day tri-series final.
Many felt the gesture simply reinforced Ganguly’s image as unpredictable and aggressive, although he appears to have mellowed since then.
At Nagpur, Ganguly showed his old flamboyance and popularity gained from elegant batting and leadership still remained.
Taking a final look at his fans, a bare-chested Ganguly walked off into the dressing room.
He had signed off in style.