Dada fit enough for hard cricket

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Sourav Ganguly might have walked into the sunset of his cricketing career, but the former India captain on Monday said he is still good enough to play.

Updated: February 03, 2009 19:07 IST
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Sourav Ganguly might have walked into the sunset of his cricketing career, but the former India captain on Monday said he is still good enough to play both forms of the game at the international level for at least a year.

Asked if he is still good enough for international cricket at 36 years of age, Ganguly replied, "Two-hundred percent."

"I think I am still good enough for both forms of cricket. I played my best in my last years. If I had played, I could have easily continued for at least one or one-and-half years more.

"But that's not possible now, though. One has to accept the fact that retirement was part and parcel of a sportsperson's life," Ganguly said.

"I have Indian Premier League to look forward to. But turning out in the IPL could not be compared to playing for India," he added.

Ganguly was speaking at a function to release 'Dada Tantra', a book based on him and authored by sports journalist Goutam Bhattacharya.

"You have to see life as a bigger picture. Cricket is just a part of it. Time is the biggest factor and in due course I am sure people will forget the professional part of me," Ganguly said.

The left-handed batsman, who had an infamous spat with the then India coach Greg Chappell which led to his exclusion from the team in 2005, said the Aussie's contribution in his ouster was very little.

"There were other persons in the board and in selection committee who influenced him. I don't think Greg's role in that episode was more than 15 per cent," Ganguly said.

"Those one-and-half months, I was very upset. When you see wrong things happening against you, obviously you get more angry than normal."

Ganguly said he chose not to say anything against Chappell but do the talking with his bat.

"Greg Chappell then lost his job as coach. Eventually, I made a comeback under Rahul Dravid and went on to reach another milestone -- to play 100 Tests which was a personal goal for me. I chose my bat and ball to do the needful.

Narrating about the mental agony he went through during a lean patch in 2003-04, Ganguly said, "There was a time when I would check in the internet and look for the top three-four players and their statistics. How much runs, centuries they have scored to get there.

"But eventually, it was not of any help and was a sheer waste of time. Success, failure, agony are part of every sportperson's life. But instead of wasting energy pondering about that one should work hard for the next stage," he said when asked about the formula for success.

Ganguly said Bengal had better talent than him but it was the mental management that had taken him places.

"When you reach a level, talent-wise most players are almost on par. But it's the mental management that takes you up. One must not set long term goals but take one step at a time," he said.

He said cricketers from the eastern region who made it to the Indian team were not taken too seriously in the dressing room until his performance changed the perception.

"A feeling existed in the dressing room, though terming it as 'ragging' would be harsh. It was, perhaps, because nobody after Pankaj Roy had made a mark in international cricket from this part of India. But my back to back hundreds in England changed the notion somewhat."

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