In the days ahead, I expect the BCCI to be led aggressively. I say this because Sourav Ganguly is in charge now. Back in 2000, when Dada became our captain, he taught us to win abroad, and more importantly, showed us how to put up a fight on the cricket field. Now, I think he will show the same passion in his new role and push BCCI’s case forcefully at the international level. Thus Virendra Sehwag had recently commented on the past matter in front of media on Sunday.
He added it was really heartening to hear that Ganguly wants to start from home. One of his opening statements was about improving India’s domestic cricket. He is the best man to do the job. Ganguly knows the problems at the grassroots. When he was dropped from the Indian team, he spent a lot of time traveling around the country. I still remember that when he returned to the Indian team, he used to talk about what was lacking in the domestic circuit.
Seeing Dada in this new leadership avatar, my mind goes back to the days when he was with us in the dressing room. My conviction about Ganguly doing well in his second innings is based on his excellent leadership approach. He leads from the front and backs his players. In case he feels you are a match-winner, Dada will back you to the hilt. Me, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Mohammad Kaif, we all realised this.
It was very fair treatment. It’s this clarity that makes a player trust his captain. That gave me a lot of confidence. I thought, Dada is backing me so much, so let me try. Whatever I am today, it is because of him.
Even in his tough times, Dada never looked shattered. That’s his greatness, that’s what we learned from him. There will be ups and downs but dukhi nahi hona, confidence rakhna hai, self-belief nahin khona. (Don’t feel sad, maintain confidence, don’t lose self-belief).
Actually, when I first heard about Dada becoming president, I recalled an incident during the 2007 South Africa tour. It was a Test in Cape Town where I and Wasim Jaffer were out early. Tendulkar was to bat No.4 but couldn’t take the field. Out of the blue, Ganguly was asked to go out and bat. This was a comeback series and there was pressure. But the way he batted, the way he handled pressure and tension, sirf wo hi kar sakte the.