NEW DELHI: Sourav Ganguly wrote in his upcoming autobiography titled ‘A Century Is Not Enough’ that ex-president of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf warned him against “indulging in adventures” after the former Indian captain breached security during the 2004 India tour to Pakistan.
The book just hit the stores and the book contains quite a few unknown incidents about the cricketer’s life during his illustrious career spanning 16 years.
One of the incidents which Ganguly wrote about in his book happened when he led India on a tour to Pakistan in 2004.
The Indian team was surrounded by security personnel throughout the tour. The ODI series saw Ganguly’s team win the five-match series 3-2.
Ganguly admitted to evade security when the Indian cricket team toured Pakistan in 2004, the stayed at the Lahore’s Pearl Continental Hotel. He told that the security was tight in and around the hotel. However, the Indian captain wanted to escape and visit the Lahore’s iconic food Street in Gawalmandi to eat kebabs and tandoori dishes.
After he reached back safe to the hotel, he received a call from ex-president. “President Musharraf was polite but firm,” he recalled. Musharraf warned him saying, “Next time you want to go out please inform the security and we will have an entourage with you. But please don’t indulge in adventures.” The former Indian skipper told how Pakistanis greeted him with excitement. “Arey aap Sourav Ganguly ho na?” someone asked excitedly. I said no in a slightly modulated voice. He shook his head and said, ‘I thought as much. Par aap bilkul Sourav jaise dikhte ho.'”
Ganguly further mentioned in the book that he was caught when the Indian journalist Rajdeep Sardesai spotted him and he started shouting his name. “I knew I was in trouble,” he added.
“People started coming in from all directions and I got gheraoed. While I tried to pay the bill and escape, the shopkeeper refused to accept payment. He kept on saying, ‘Bahut acha. “While we were making our way back to the hotel a speeding motorbike chased our car. The biker was asking me to roll down the window. My co-passengers kept telling me not to as they feared he might have a bomb. I, however, did not see any threat and obliged. He stretched out his hand and echoed the shopkeeper in Food Street, “I am a big fan of yours,” he wrote in the much-awaited book.
In the decade leading up to 2000-01, India had only two away series wins – one against Sri Lanka in 1993 and then against Bangladesh in 2000-01. Just two. They didn’t manage to win a Test series in any other country.
By the time, Ganguly became captain almost three years and eight months after his debut, he had decided this needed to change.
“The day I became captain I told myself this age-old policy had to change. Enough of romance. We needed to get real. I wanted to build a bank of fit and strong fast bowlers and create a new template,” says Ganguly in the book ‘A Century Is Not Enough’. “I said, within the subcontinent, the emphasis will be on spinners. But outside, pacers will have to assume primary responsibility for picking 20 wickets.” During his time as skipper some of India’s greatest cricketers came together to carve out a new era. There was intrigue; there was controversy; there was hurt. Few cricketers have polarized India the way Ganguly has. This is also why one wanted him to write a book.