Sourav Ganguly made waves in latest India cricket news when he featured on the new episode of the online talk show, Breakfast With Champions, which is hosted by Gaurav Kapoor. The former Team India captain, who is now the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal and is a well-reputed cricket pundit, shared various cricketing stories and insights from back in his day. One of the most revealing insights made by Ganguly was from the famous shirt incident that had come after India’s 2002 Natwest final win against England at Lord’s.
The Natwest series had seen an intense match-up between India and England and it was the series decided at Lord’s, which is also known as the ‘home of cricket’, where India had clinched the series in historic fashion, and under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly.
When VVS Laxman kept stopping Ganguly from taking off his shirt at Lord’s after Natwest win in 2002
Speaking about the incident where he had taken off his shirt off at the Lord’s balcony and waved it all around after India had won, Ganguly revealed the reactions that he was receiving from his team-mates VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh, and said,
“I was to the right, next to me was VVS and behind me was ‘Bhajju’. So as I started to take my shirt off, VVS kept stopping me, saying ‘Don’t do it’. And behind me was Bhajju, who asked me, ‘What should I do?’, so I told him, ‘You also take your shirt off’.”
Ganguly had done the gesture keeping in mind how in the previous Natwest clash when England’s star all-rounder Andrew Flintoff had taken off his shirt at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after a win. Therefore, when India won the Natwest series final in 2002 at Lord’s, Sourav Ganguly was not going to hold back.
Speaking on the show, BWC, he told Gaurav Kapoor about how there were contrasting personalities in the Indian team, the prime example of which was VVS Laxman stopping Ganguly from taking off his shirt at Lord’s, and Harbhajan Singh going along with the ‘madness’. Ganguly said,
“That team had such mixtures. One was a crazy head like me, then Bhajju, Zaheer, Viru, Yuvraj – some from North India. And then there were people like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who used to be so mannered even at the dinner table. So there was a good mixture.”
Ganguly had taken the shirt off at Lord’s to get back at Andrew Flintoff
When Gaurav Kapoor asked Ganguly how did the act of taking off his shirt came to his mind and when, the former captain said,
“Right at that point. When England had won the series at Wankhede, and Srinath had gotten bowled at the last ball, as usual. And as Srinath got bowled, Flintoff took off his shirt and waved it all around at the Wankhede stadium. So I thought let’s take it to the Lord’s, too. I was agitated as well, so I took my shirt off.”
However, while that incident is one of the most memorable chapters from Indian cricket history, Ganguly added that he was a bit embarrassed about having taken his shirt off like that at the Lord’s, with thousands of people watching from all over the world. When Gaurav Kapoor asked him why, Ganguly replied,
“I’m a bit embarrassed about it, I don’t know why. My daughter was watching the footage and she asked me why I was doing that. She asked me, ‘do you have to do that in cricket?’ and I said ‘No, but I did it by mistake anyway’. So, sometimes things like these happen and you don’t have control over everything.”
Watch: BwC S5E13 – Sourav Ganguly – Part 1
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