Sourav Ganguly writes: When I got the shock of my life in IPL 2012
Sourav Ganguly was made to follow Subroto Roy in IPL, reveals former captain in new book
Sourav Ganguly during his IPL stint with Pune Warriors. File Pic
In January (2012) I got a call from Saharashri Subrata Roy to come and meet him in Delhi. I went on a Sunday. He got to the point rather quickly: 'Sourav, I have decided, you will be our captain this season.'
I was in a bind. A thought crossed my mind that I was replacing Yuvraj, someone who had provided shelter to me just a few months ago. I didn't know how to respond. I decided to concentrate on the areas which I could somewhat control. The priority had to be the auction.
Having done extensive homework, I landed for the auction in Bengaluru. I had arrived a day before to have an important meeting with the management. Next morning I woke up early and had breakfast. As I was getting ready to go down, my doorbell rang. I opened the door and found a pensive-looking Abhijitda standing outside. He said, 'A decision has come from the Boss that we will not participate in the auction.'
I got the shock of my life! What was he saying? I desperately tried to make him understand the impact of such a decision. How irreparable the damage would be. The Boss' anger with the board may subside afterwards. He said his decision was final and that we needed to get out of Bengaluru as soon as possible. I would be leader of a group which I had neither selected nor would be able to strengthen.
We eventually came down to Kolkata to play the biggest match of the season against KKR. The media had added their own angle to the match, hyping it as Dada versus SRK. On the day of the match, I entered the team meeting to announce the eleven.
Immediately, afterwards I was told that the bosses were looking for me. It was Mr Roy on the phone who wanted to know about the combination that I was playing. He wanted to make certain changes and naturally I had to follow his order.
I wanted to open in this match and take control right from the word go but was advised against it. I was told instead that I had to bat lower down the order. The boss' idea was that if we were chasing, I could control the middle order with my experience and win the game for Pune. But we lost by seven runs. The game was my last hope in the tournament. From this defeat, we just went down and down. Ironically, the last match of my international career had KKR as the opponents. We lost this match in Pune and the season ended for us.
I told myself that I would not play IPL any more. I spent nearly a month thinking about it but the voice within told me that my time was up. I had felt the same when I decided to retire from Test cricket. After a month or so I informed my family.
Excerpted from A Century Is Not Enough by Sourav Ganguly with Gautam Bhattacharya; published by Juggernaut Books