It’s nearing five years since he last played for India — long enough for fans to be less excited, if not totally forget, a player. But the legend of Sourav Chandidas Ganguly has only grown powerful. The Prince of Kolkata turned 41 on Monday.

There is no player in Indian cricket — arguably, not even Sachin Tendulkar — who evokes such fiery reverence from his followers. There is no cricketer, barring the still-active Tendulkar, who has such fanatical fan following, especially on the omnipotent social media.

As the cliché goes, you can love him, hate him, but you just cannot ignore him. That’s just perfect for Ganguly, a man who instilled the kind of passion and pride that no Indian captain has and who gave new-found respectability to Indian cricket.