Lara best left-hander I played against: Ganguly

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Monday said West Indian legend Brian Lara was the greatest left-hander he had come across.

Updated: February 03, 2009 13:19 IST
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Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Monday said West Indian legend Brian Lara was the greatest left-hander he had come across.

Asked whom did he consider the greatest left-hander of all time, Ganguly said, "As a young cricketer, I looked up to David Gower... The Englishman was my favourite initially.

"But from the cricketers I have seen and played against, I think (Brian) Lara is the best left-hander ever," Ganguly said at a book release function.

The former cricketer also rated Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar as his all-time favourites. "It's always good to watch them play."

Asked to pick the best shot he played, Ganguly remembered a six off New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns in an ODI in Gwalior which he helped India win with an unbeaten 153 on November 11, 1999.

"I was in full flow, having scored a century. Cairns bowled a yorker to me and I hit it for a six. I initially felt that I had holded out but I could not believe my eyes when the ball soared over the ropes.

"I was not able to repeat that shot again in my career. I consider that as the best ever (stroke)," Ganguly recalled. Post-retirement, the Bengal ace joked that he was getting bored.

"It's been two-and-half months now. I think cricket life was much better," Ganguly said.

"Now, I am a family man, spending time with my daughter who is six years old. Busy with the India team, I have not seen her grow up in her initial six years... hope, I will make up for it. Even my father is not well nowadays... so I have to spend much of time with him," Ganguly said.

Ganguly plans to start an educational instititute soon. "I hope my plans for an educational institute will materialise in one year. And I have to explore other options as well."

Ganguly said he would do his best to contribute for cricket in Bengal.

"I already have an academy... I devote much of time to this but obviously, I can only guide the players who have to find their way up," he said.

Asked whether he considered acting as an option after retirement, Ganguly quipped in jest, "If I join acting, I will be thrown out of my house."

The function was also attended by Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Jagmohan Dalmiya, Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia and his Mohun Bagan team-mate Jose Ramirez Barreto, among others.

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