Former Indian Cricketer and Captain of the Indian National Team, Cricket Commentator and President of the Editorial Board, Wisden India
Wednesday Evening, December 11
7:30 p.m.–8:15 p.m., Keynote Hall
Sourav Ganguly – former captain of the Indian National Team – is considered one of the most successful cricket captains in modern times. Introduced to the sport by his older brother, Ganguly played briefly for the National team in 1992 but spent most of the early 90s playing a variety of Indian domestic tournaments, before re-joining the National team in 1996 for a tour of England. He secured his place on the team after scoring 131 runs during his Test debut against England at Lord's Cricket Ground – becoming only the 3rd cricketer in history to score a century on debut at Lord's. He further cemented his status by scoring 136 runs during the next Test match at Trent Bridge, making him the 3rd batsman ever to score a century in each of his first two innings.
Three years later, at the 1999 Cricket World Cup in England, Ganguly achieved the second highest score in World Cup history and the highest by an Indian in the tournament, scoring 183 runs from 158 balls, and hitting 17 fours and seven sixes. In concert with Rahul Dravid, he achieved the highest overall score in a World Cup – 318 – and the 2nd highest in ODI cricket.
Ganguly was named captain of the Indian National Team in 2000, leading the team to the finals of the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy, where he scored two centuries. In perhaps his biggest achievement as captain, he brought India to the 2003 World Cup finals for the first time since 1983, despite most critics not rating the team to even cross the Super Sixes. Although the Indians lost to the Australians, Ganguly scored 465 runs at an average of 58.12, including three centuries. In 2004, he received the Padma Shri – the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India – in recognition of his distinguished contribution to sports. He stepped down as captain in 2005, but continued his prolific scoring in Test cricket until his retirement in 2008.Post retirement, Ganguly continued to play for his state team, Bengal, and also signed on as captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), the Indian Premier League team owned by Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan, where he played until 2010. Today, he is a cricket commentator and President of the Editorial Board of Wisden India.