This Day, That Year: Sourav Ganguly Takes 5/34, Hits Unbeaten 71 And Then Gets One-Match Ban
File Photo of Sourav Ganguly (© AFP Photo)

Widely regarded as one of the greatest captains to have played the game, Sourav Ganguly is also credited with changing the mindset of Indian cricketers. His in-your-face attitude and tit-for-tat approach is the stuff of legend.

His rein as India captain was as legendary as his stellar batting career. However, the aggression wasn’t just limited with the way he batted, bowled or dealt with opposition players. There were numerous occasions when Ganguly didn’t take it kindly to an umpires’ decision and made it known his displeasure, inviting trouble.

One of such moment came during a contest that was one of his finest as an individual. He not only starred with the bat but also took a five-for, powering India to a big nine-wicket win against Zimbabwe on December 11, 2000 in Kanpur.

But first, a brief look at his on-field performance.

Ganguly was in sublime touch during that five-match ODI series at home. He started with 44 in the series opener, followed that with 144 in a big win and then fell for 5 in the the 3rd ODI which India lost by a wicket.

However, in the fourth, after Zimbabwe elected to bat first, Ganguly combined with Ajit Agarkar to bowl the tourists out for 165 in 45.4 overs. The India captain bowled his full quota of 10 overs and finished with excellent figures of 5/34.

He didn’t waste time in chasing down the target, smashing an unbeaten 71 off 68 with 12 fours and a six as India needed just 25 overs for a nine-wicket win.

He was rightly chosen as the man-of-the-match.

That should have been it. Right?

Nope.

During the contest, Ganguly was found to have shown dissent and breaking the ICC Code of Conduct. The incident related to his lbw appeals against Mluleki Nkala to the on-field umpire Chandu Sathe.

The match referee Barry Jarman found him guilty of the violation and handed him a ban for one ODI and additionally a two-match suspended ban as well.

The then India wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya, who was in cohorts with his captain while making the unsuccessful appeals, also received a one-match ban.

Consequently both missed the fifth ODI and Rahul Dravid captained India for the first time.