Kolkata:With Sourav Ganguly getting out even before opening his account in his last Test innings, the former Indian captain's admirers were left sad and dejected on Sunday. Many of them seemed struggling to come to terms with the fact that the local boy would never again be seen representing India.
"Don't ask me anything today (Sunday). I am not in a position to say anything," Ganguly's father said a short while after Ganguly returned to the pavilion on the penultimate day of the Nagpur Test against Australia.
Ganguly's friend and former Bengal Ranji Trophy cricketer Jadeep Mukherjee, who spoke to the seasoned batsman after he was dismissed, said: "Sourav didn't seem down. He is a tough man. He had announced his decision a month back. I didn't find him as emotional as one would normally find international cricketers in their swan-song series".
The overwhelming majority in Kolkata remained glued to their television sets to watch Ganguly do duty at the crease for the last time for his country.
After the talismanic player's 85 in the first essay, the expectation from Ganguly was high. Kolkatans wanted him to sign out in style by hitting a ton.
"I couldn't believe my eyes when he got out. I never thought his stay in the middle will be so short," said Bibhas Pal of Behala, where Ganguly resides.
But Asim Sarkar of Ballygunge found solace in the fact that Don Bradman had also returned for a duck in his last Test innings. "So now, when people talk of Bradman's zero in his last innings, they will also remember our Maharaj (Ganguly)".
Meanwhile, Ganguly was given a farewell by the Bengali-speaking journalists covering the Nagpur Test Sunday evening.
Speaking on the occasion, Ganguly said: "Cricket is only a part of life, which is a much larger canvas".
Ganguly hoped more cricketing talents would emerge from Bengal soon. "Six months later, when I write on cricket, then I would like to see some other Bengal cricketer turning out for India".
On the other hand, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has convened an emergency working committee meeting on November 12 to pass a resolution acknowledging Ganguly's contribution to the game. The meeting would also decide on the finer details of the farewell programme which CAB has organised for Ganguly.