Sourav Ganguly is widely considered one of the best captains to have lead the team, having taken over captaincy at a time when Indian Cricket was shocked by the match-fixing scandal and the very faith of Indian fans had dampened. He quickly proved to be a tough, intuitive and an uncompromising leader.
His career certainly had its share of ups and downs, which takes us back to 1996, in England, the year Ganguly launched himself onto the global stage.
The Prince of Kolkata scored back to back centuries at Lord’s and then at Trent Bridge to seal his place in the Indian team. However, Ganguly could have been killed on his way in the underground tube when he was held at gunpoint by a few teenagers along with teammate Navjot Singh Sidhu.
In the book Beefy’s Cricket Tales, in one chapter “Troubles in England”, Dada recounts exactly what happened during the ride. “I will almost always drive myself around when I’m in England now, after one of the most terrifying moments of my life travelling on the London Underground,” he wrote. ”We got one the tube and set off towards Pinner”. ” In out carriage, there was a group of young teenagers, two boys, and three girls, and they were drinking. We were sitting opposite them and I could see that one of them was looking at us while he was drinking his beer.”
“I could tell he was looking for some kind of reaction, I didn’t want to get involved at all and I said to Sidhu to leave it alone. I picked up the can and put it to one side, at which point the young lad stood up and said to me, ’what did you say?’
“I told him I didn’t say anything, but Sidhu jumped in and confronted him. I knew then that there was going to be some trouble. I took my glasses off and threw them to the floor away from us, and got ready for whatever was to come.”
“There was some punches thrown and, just as we got to a station, I pushed the lad and he fell over. He got up and the next thing I saw was a gun in my face. I thought, my gosh, this is it- my life is going to be over here on this train.”
“But then one of the girls, who was quite big, grabbed him and lulled him away and took him off the train. She was really quite strong and I don’t think the young boy wanted to mess with her. I was shaking and obviously very upset, but thankfully my tour and my life were able to continue.”