আমাদের সকলের প্রিয় 'দাদা' মানে সৌরভ গাঙ্গুলীকে নিয়ে কোন ভুমিকার প্রয়োজন পড়ে না। মাধুকরীর পাতায় দাদার কথা নিয়ে লেখার ইচ্ছা ছিল অনেক দিনই। ডালাসের এক বন্ধু-সম দাদা দেবব্রত সাহার মাধ্যমে পৌঁছে গেলাম ওনারই এক বন্ধু ন্যাশভিলের রানাদার কাছে। যোগাযোগের শুরু ওখানেই। তারপরে যখন কলকাতায় পৌঁছে সৌরভ গাঙ্গুলীর এক ঘনিষ্ট বন্ধু জয়দীপ মুখার্জীর কাছ থেকে একটা ফোন এল তখনই বুঝলাম যে স্বপ্নটা সত্যি হতে চলেছে। তার আগে অবশ্য একটা ছোট্ট স্ক্রিনিং টেস্ট দিতে হয়েছে।
বন্ধুরা, মাধুকরীর পুরানো সংস্করণে বেশ কয়েক বছর আগে এটি প্রথম প্রকাশিত হয়। নতুন সংস্করণে যুক্ত করা ও বন্ধুদের আরো একবার অবগত করতে সাক্ষাৎকারটি আবার প্রকাশিত হল।
মানে আমি কে, কোন ওয়েব পেজ জন্য এই সাক্ষাৎকার, কেন নিতে চাই... এই ছোটখাটো কয়েকটি প্রশ্নের উত্তর জানাতে ছোট্ট একটি বিবরণী জয়দীপবাবুকে পাঠিয়ে দিতে হয়েছিল। তাই একটু দ্বিধায় ছিলাম যে আদৌ সাক্ষাৎকারটি পাবো কিনা। ভয় ছিল তীরে এসে না তরী ডোবে!
শেষ পর্যন্ত খুবই ভাগ্যবান যে দাদার সৌজন্যে সাক্ষাৎকারটি নেওয়া সম্ভব হয়েছিল।
কৃতজ্ঞতা স্বীকার -
সৌরভ গাঙ্গুলী - দাদা
জয়দীপ মুখার্জী - কলকাতা
রানাদা - ন্যাশভিল, টেনিসি
দেবব্রত সাহা - ডালাস, টেক্সাস
How did you spend your 'Durga Puja' holidays?
For years I have missed out on Pujo, due to my cricketing commitments. I have grown up in a joint family and had loads of fun as kids during this festive season. So, ever since I have retired, I have made sure that the old times are back. Some of my cousins have also left Cal with work, but this is one time of the year that they are back and the fun is unbelievable. Some very close friends join in too which makes it even more special. We play the dhak, eat 'bhog', spends lots of time in the pandal, eat out and do some pandal hopping, although I am confined to my car.
Your fans still find 'something' went wrong behind your back that forced you to take sudden retirement...
I always felt that there is I should leave this game at a time when everyone says 'why' as to 'why not'. I have been playing for India for a long time and the time had come to move on. That's it, to it, really.
You left National Team to save or back some other people... is it true?
I have always backed my players.I was blessed to have had some fantastic cricketers in the team when I was captain. Senior players like Kumble, Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman with young stars like Sehwag, Harbhajan, Nehra, Zaheer, Yuvraj, Dhoni to follow. I did not play much domestic cricket at the time, but whoever caught my eye and if I got to know about some young players having special talent, I made sure they got a proper look in.
What are you doing after retirement?
I have been busier than ever before. I am in the process of building an educational institution. Apart from that, I am playing in the IPL, host a tv quiz show and there is other work that comes my way. So, all in all, it's been busy.
I heard in school days, you made fun of your teacher and gave hard times by adding something in his drink...
No, all this is not true. I was a bit of a prank star but not to this extent. Our fun was more amongst cousins and friends.
'If you do not have any problem in your job, you are not doing your job"... why did you write this quote on the back of your kits bag?
Again that's not true. I think we will all agree that no matter how good your job is and however well you might be doing, there are always some problem areas that need to be taken care of.
How did you motivate yourself in your rough times, once you were replaced so badly, although it was good to see you came back after accepting that challenge?
Must be good genes that I have inherited, I suppose. This is something that came naturally to me. People who know me from close will vouch for the fact that I am introvert and a quiet person off the field. Its quite something else on the field and it came about naturally to me. International cricket is a tough stage and to survive for a number of years, mental strength is of prime importance.
Why did you meet Board President Mr Shasank Monohar on the next day of your retirement? If I remember correctly, Mr Sunil Gavaskar, Mr Kapil Dev also did not receive such an honour from the Board President when they said 'goodbye' to cricket. Was it just a formal meeting or something else?
You brought Greg as an Indian Coach. You had a lot of expectations. We all are familiar with the outcome of your decision. We have seen our "dada" to handle all adverse situations very efficiently, why this exception happened?
"Ganguly is a classy left-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-pace bowler. His ability to play shots on the off side is special because there are very few players who can hit the ball in that area as crisply as he does. Former Team India skipper Rahul Dravid once commented, "On the off-side, first there is God, then there is Ganguly. Nobody can dispute that he was India's most successful and aggressive Test captain."
"I like what I see in MSD's captaincy. People say there are a lot of similarities and they might well be right. He also seems to be his own man and has done very well for India. He will be the 1st one to admit that he has inherited a very very good team and Gary Kirsten has done a fabulous job with the squad."
What do you think about MS Dhoni?
I like what i see in MSD's captaincy. People say there are a lot of similarities and they might well be right. He also seems to be his own man and has done very well for India. He will be the 1st one to admit that he has inherited a very very good team and Gary Kirsten has done a fabulous job with the squad.
What was the most difficult decision you had ever taken as a skipper of Indian Cricket Team?
To leave Anil Kumble out of the one day team.
Have you seen any promising cricketer in youngsters, having the ability to show us second "Saurav Ganguly" in near future?
There are a few juniors who look promising. I hope and pray that they go on to become better than me and do the state and the country proud.
Which bowler do you think, gave you tremendous hard time on the ground?
"Saurav Ganguly of India is bowled by Glenn McGrath of Australia, during the 2nd One Day International between India and Australia, played at Nehru Stadium, Pune, India."
What will be Dada's role in future, a businessman or a successful Board President or Political Leader or cricket commentator?
Have not thought that far to be brutally honest. When I retired I was already committed to Kolkata Knight Riders. The school was always in the pipeline and Dadgiri came along. So things have been happening. I have been out on the road a lot in the past 15 years, so I try and spend as much time with my family as possible. I love Kolkata.
Have you bought a news channel called "Chabbis Ghanta", is it true?
That is not true. Dont believe everything you hear about me !!!
In last IPL your performance was magnificent, you were on fire but your team players were losing their ground.
I think everyone was motivated and beyond. We have had one ordinary and one bad year and we all knew that this was the last time we were all playing together. We gave it all we had, and we did the best is 3 years. We were tied 3rd in points but lost out on the net RR. What people don't think 8 team competition and it is the very cut throat. If a team goes off the boil a bit at a crucial time, it could miss out. We had one bad game v King's 11 at Eden Gardens and that loss came back to haunt us.
Any special game plan for next IPL...
Well, there is a new auction that is scheduled for January/February. The fact that there will be an auction after 3 years was always in the cards, as it was stated when IPL was formed. We will have to wait and watch who lands up where.
Do you have any other offer for hosting a show like "Dadagiri Unlimited"?
Even if I had the offer I don't have the time. I know it looks quite chilled out on tv but its hard work and time-consuming.
"The selectors had made up their mind to drop Anil Kumble from the 2003-2004 Australia tour. But Ganguly put his foot down and ensured that the legendary spinner makes it to the series. This was disclosed by Ganguly himself during a promotional event
You are very close to some veteran political leaders, is there any plan to join in politics in near future?
Why do we need a "Psychologist" like Mr Sandy Gordon in Indian Cricket Team? Do not you think this responsibility can be shared by the Captain and the Coach of the team?
The coach and captain have a lot on their plate. There are lots of areas to cover, not only on the field but off the field too. So, any help that comes your way from the team management is always welcome. I know of a fair number of players who have benefited from such help, so I am game for it.
'Dada' on the floor of "DadaGiri Unlimited" conducted by Zee Bangla. The reality show is all set to welcome a 100-year-old man in their show.
Dada got huge respect from a 100-year old "young" man.
I can talk for days about him. God of a player, friend, partner and one that I can always count on. We have had some great times in the middle and some great times outside. We have spent 15 years of our lives together, just to be able to watch him from close and form a partnership that stood the test of time and performance means a lot to me.
Favourite Singers and Music Directors in Bengali and Hindi
Kishore Kumar - Singer Bengali
Lata Mangeshkar - Singer Hindi
Hemanta Mukhopadhyay - Music Director Bengali
Rahul Deb Burman - Music Director - Hindi
Tricks to hold success...
Work hard, follow your dreams and enjoy the ride.