This was back in 1995 when Saurav Ganguly was just another talented batsman
scoring heavily in domestic cricket.

There was a match in Nehru Stadium, Pune the next day and when I walked in
Saurav was practicing in the nets. After the nets, I chatted with 'Dada' for a
while and then he willingly obliged me with an autograph. Interestingly, I had
my camera with me that day but I was saving the film for the next day when my
grand plan was to take a snap with Sachin Tendulkar. As it turned out I could
not get within 20 metres of Sachin the next day due to heavy security. In later
years when Saurav became a celebrity, my friends used to tease me how close I
had come to taking a snap with Dada.

I finally got a chance to meet Dada in Russia during the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
After the finals, I waited for Dada at the hotel entrance. When I met Dada, he
warmly chatted with me in Bengali as if he knew me for a long time and then
happily posed for photos. It was difficult to wipe that smile off my face for
the rest of the night; finally I had snagged a photo with my childhood idol.

Saurav taught India to fight and to never take a backward step. I believe he was
the catalyst that eventually saw India reach the pinnacle of world cricket.

Dada : Get well soon. Indian cricket needs you.

Posted by Biplab Chakraborty on LinkedIn