Sourav Ganguly is a name which needs no introduction. 'Prince of Kolkata', the 'God Of the Offside, ' 'Maharaj', 'Bengal Tiger', and 'Dada' are some of the names that fans often use to refer to the former Indian cricket team captain, who celebrates his 52nd birthday today. Born on July 8, 1972 in Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly is responsible for delivering some of the most iconic moments in Indian cricket. The 52-year-old is most well-known for his leadership skills and the belief he instilled in the Indian cricket team that they, too, could win in any venue and from any situation. Not just this, but Sourav Ganguly also groomed names like Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, and MS Dhoni, all of whom went on to famously win the 2011 World Cup. On his 52nd birthday, here are some of his most memorable moments in Indian cricket. Happy Birthday Sourav Ganguly! Fans Wish Former Indian Captain As He Turns 52.

The former Indian cricketer was born into a well-to-do family. He grew a liking for sports at an early age and learnt how to bat left-handed so that he could use the cricket equipment of his elder brother Snehahish Ganguly, the current president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB). Sourav Ganguly made his debut in first-class cricket for Bengal in the 1989/90 season and did not look back after. Having made his international debut in 1992, Ganguly went on to play his first Test match in 1996 when he scored a century against England at the iconic Lord's Cricket Stadium. Sourav Ganguly, also famously, assumed the role of Team India captain at a time when Indian cricket was hit by a match-fixing scandal. He also led India to the 2002 Champions Trophy title (shared with Sri Lanka) and the 2003 World Cup final, where the Men in Blue lost to Australia.

1) Taking Off His Shirt at NatWest Series 2002 Final

Cricket fans will probably never be able to forget this epic moment! After India had beaten England in the Natwest series final for a major victory overseas, Ganguly took off his shirt in jubilation and waved it from the Lord's balcony. The image of Ganguly waving his Indian cricket team jersey while the other members of the team celebrated the win is timeless and will stay in the minds of cricket fans forever. Later, Ganguly would go on to reveal that he had done such a thing after Andrew Flintoff had waved his shirt at the Wankhede stadium earlier.

2) Highest Partnership for India at ODI World Cup

Sourav Ganguly was involved in what still remains India's highest partnership for any wicket at the ODI World Cup. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid had stitched 318 runs for the second wicket against Sri Lanka at the 1999 World Cup. After India had lost Sadagoppan Ramesh in the first over, the two got together and ensured India finished with a massive total. This is also the second-highest partnership for any wicket in ODI World Cup history, second only to Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels' 372 in 2015. Sourav Ganguly scored 183 runs in this innings, which remains the highest individual score by an Indian in ODI World Cups. Sourav Ganguly Feels KKR Mentor Gautam Gambhir Will Be a 'Good' Head Coach for Team India If He Has Applied for the Role.

3) Starring in India's First-Ever Win on South African soil

Sourav Ganguly's incredible story of making a comeback to the Indian national cricket team is known to all. The left-hander was removed as captain and dropped from the Indian team in 2005. The infamous Greg Chappell-Sourav Ganguly controversy hit Indian cricket hard and the southpaw, after being sidelined, made a roaring comeback in India's tour of South Africa in 2006. In his comeback Test, he struck 51 runs in the first innings and this match saw India win for the first time on South African soil. Although not a massive achievement on Ganguly's CV, this Test series showcased one of the best comeback stories in Indian cricket.

4) Test Series Win against Australia in 2001

Beating mighty Australia back in 2001 was something unheard of and Sourav Ganguly managed to captain an Indian cricket team which went on to script one of the greatest-ever turnarounds in the history of the sport. Australia came to tour India for a three-match series and won the first game in Mumbai by 10 wickets. It seemed that the Aussies would rampage their way through the series and register a 17th consecutive win in Test cricket. But that was not to be as what happened in the next match in Kolkata turned out to be one of the greatest episodes in Indian cricket. Having been shot out for 171 in response to Australia's 445, India needed a strong response to script an unlikely turnaround. And they found their heroes in Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, whose 376-run partnership paved the way for India to win the match. India also won the next match and sealed the series 2-1, stunning Australia. Ganguly had a massive feather in his captain's hat. BCCI Secretary Jay Shah Dedicates ICC T20 World Cup 2024 Triumph to Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja (Watch Video).

5) Organising India's First-Ever Pink Ball Test Match

This one would go down as one of the biggest highlights of Sourav Ganguly's career as an administrator. Having assumed the role of BCCI president in 2019, Sourav Ganguly successfully conducted India's first-ever pink-ball Test match. With an emphasis on drawing a crowd to Test cricket, Ganguly initiated swift talks with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), who agreed on short notice to play the pink-ball Test match, which was eventually held on November 22 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Apart from having played cricket at the highest level and won many accolades for the Indian national cricket team, Ganguly also served as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president from 2019 to 2022. After serving as the president of the Indian cricket board, Ganguly joined IPL franchise Delhi Capitals as the Head of Cricket.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 08, 2024 06:55 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website