Sourav Ganguly’s appointment as an Indian cricket captain back in early 2000s changed the entire scenario of Indian cricket. Ashok Malhotra, present Indian Cricketers Association chief was part of the selection committee during that time. Ashok Malhotra recalled that Sourav Ganguly was not first choice for the role after the resignation of Sachin Tendulkar. He even narrated the story of picking Sourav Ganguly as vice-captain.
Sourav Ganguly story begins as vice-captain
Ashok Malhotra recently disclosed how even selecting Sourav Ganguly as vice-captain was tougher. “See, if I remember correctly, picking Sourav Ganguly as a vice-captain was a tougher job. I remember we picked him in Calcutta and the coach had some things to say – drinks too much Coke, takes singles but not twos, etc. In the bargain, I said having a Thumbs Up does not disqualify him as a vice-captain,” Malhotra told Sportskeeda in a Facebook Live interview.
The discussion as Malhotra remembered went on till Sourav Ganguly secured votes in favour of him as the vice-captain. “And then we had quite a big discussion. 3-2 was voted in favour of Sourav as vice-captain. But then, I won’t name the President, but he walked into the selection, which has never ever happened in the history of the BCCI. And he and the Chairman told us, ‘Gentlemen, let’s do some rethinking’.” Malhotra continued, “Two of us still stuck to our guns, but one selector said, ‘No, the President has said it so I will go with him.’ So we didn’t make him vice-captain then but later on, we managed to (make him). I know today he’s a legendary captain today, but a little bit of effort was there to make him captain, and even vice-captain.”
Sourav Ganguly not first choice for captain
While it is hard to imagine the India national cricket team without a leader like Sourav Ganguly in a controversial period of cricket in India, it is equally tough to imagine that Sourav Ganguly was not an automatic first choice as the skipper.
Ashok Malhotra revealed, “None of us knew Sourav Ganguly would become the captain, because Sachin was the captain then. But once he resigned, we had to convince everyone to make him captain because Anil Kumble and Ajay Jadeja were in line. I had to work overtime.”