Sourav Ganguly is celebrating his 48th birthday today. Credited with the rise of Indian cricket while instilling aggression and a firm belief that they can win overseas, Ganguly continues to be an icon.

Before he made name as a captain, Ganguly had established himself as one of the finest left-handers to have played the game. His off-side strokeplay led another India legend Rahul Dravid giving this famous quote: On the offside, first there is God, then Sourav Ganguly.

Ganguly made his debut as a 20-year-old, at the hallowed Lord’s cricket ground. He would immediately announce himself to the world with a sublime century on debut and the rest as they say, is history.

He went on to play 113 Tests, scored 7212 runs at 42.17 including 16 centuries and 35 half-centuries.

In ODIs, it was a treat to watch him hit those big sixes. In 311 appearances, Dada amassed 11363 runs with 22 hundreds and 72 fifties.

Ganguly was handed the team’s rein during a tumultuous period of Indian cricket when the match-fixing scandal in 2000 shook them to the core.

Ganguly swiftly took control and his no nonsense attitude paved the way for a new era. Under him, Indian cricket team recorded several memorable victories including that 2-1 Test series win over Australia at home.

In 2003, he led them to the ODI World Cup final and later that year, they drew an away four-match Test series 1-1 against world’s best side Australia.

However, Ganguly gave India and the world an iconic moment a year before when he took off his shirt and waved it from the Lord’s balcony after his team beat England in a nail-biting finish to win the 2002 Natwest Trophy.

In all, Ganguly led India in 146 ODIs out of which they won 76 and lost 65 with the rest producing no result.

In Tests, he led them to victory in 21 out of 49 Tests while in 13 they tasted defeat.

Perhaps, one of the lowest points of his careers came when Australian Greg Chappell took over as India coach.

The duo fell apart resulting in Ganguly being removed as the captain and eventually was dropped from the team altogether. He did make a sparkling comeback before calling time on his playing career.

After retiring, Ganguly dabbled in administration and as a popular commentator. Currently, he’s back leading the Indian cricket as the president of their cricket board.

Here’s wishing Ganguly a very happy birthday and more success as he continues to serve as the guiding light for Indian cricket.