“I’ll spend the day at home. There will be no celebrations this time because of my dad’s death. Having said that I am looking forward to spending some quality time at home with family. It always feels good to be able to do so,” Ganguly told Times of India.
On being asked about his plans of writing an autobiography, he said, “I will, for sure. I was waiting for the right time. I continued to be really busy after giving up international cricket and did not have the time. There was IPL and my plan was to do the autobiography once IPL was over. That will make it complete. Now is the time and I will definitely start doing the book in the near future.”
“It is difficult to say at this point whether it will be a ‘tell all’ but there’s no doubt I will write and speak the truth. Let me start writing and then I will be in a better position to answer this question.”
It has been four years that Ganguly retired from international cricket. However, during ICC Champions Trophy 2013, where he featured as a commentator, the Birmingham crowd reacted in a manner which they used to during the former skipper’s playing days.
He said, “You can say I am blessed. This is clearly God’s gift. The kind of affection I continue to receive is often overwhelming. People still treat me the same way like they did when I was India’s captain and I am deeply touched by these gestures. I have some fantastic memories associated with England as a cricketer. My debut hundred at Lord’s, winning the Headingley Test as captain in 2002 and winning the NatWest Trophy before the Test series, constitute some of my best memories as a player.”
“I’m sure people remember these moments and you must also add the fact that in the recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy 2013 the Indians played outstanding cricket, which made sure that the fans were in high spirits. All these things explain the reaction from the fans you are talking about,” he added.
Ganguly said he doesn’t beleives in comparisons. When asked about Dhoni leading a team whose foundation was built by the 41-year-old, he said, “I don’t believe in comparisons. You can’t compare eras, players, opposition, etc. It isn’t possible. There were many captains before me who did a good job. Also, and perhaps the most important factor, is that I had a great set of players. A captain is as good as his team and I had some of the greatest ever players who have played for India.”
“[Sachin] Tendulkar, [Rahul] Dravid, [Virender] Sehwag, [VVS] Laxman and [Anil] Kumble can walk into any team in the world. Take the Champions Trophy, for example.”
Ganguly feels that it is about the team that Dhoni was leading.
“Dhoni did not even have to bat and yet India won the tournament. It is all about how good a team you have. I have always maintained that winning away from home is the most important yardstick and in that sense I was fortunate to have a bunch of players in my side who could beat every team in the world away from home.”
He added, “Likewise, Dhoni’s success in ODIs is just mind blowing. It is not about me or Dhoni or Rahul. It is about Indian cricket. A captain is like a baton bearer in a relay. Each of us have a job to do and each of us will then pass on the baton to the next person in line, who will then do his bit for Indian cricket.”
The southpaw’s transition from a cricketer to a commentator was very smooth. From being one of the most respected captains he has now become one of the most respected commentators.
He said, “I don’t consciously try to be the best. I say what I see and try to keep it simple and go deeper at the same time. I don’t criticise players because I have been there and done it all. I am perhaps a little lenient on players at times.”
He remembered asking Richie Benaud, former Australian cricketer and highly regarded as a commentator, about what makes a good commentator.
“Richie told me that he had asked the same question to John Arlott, in England, in the 1970s. Arlott told him, “Don’t say what you see. Add something to it.” That’s what I try and do. While keeping it simple I try to go deeper for the viewers,” he concluded.