New Delhi: Legendary cricketer Sourav Ganguly, who is considered as of the greatest Indian captains of all time, turned 51 on Saturday and wishes have poured in from across the cricketing community with BCCI and its office bearers former teammates and current cricketers wishing 'Dada' on his birthday.
After making his international debut in an ODI match against the West Indies in the 1992 Benson and Hedges World Series, Ganguly served the country for 16 glorious years.
The left-hander batter went on to be recognised as one of the greatest batters to have come out of India, particularly in ODIs. He scored 7212 runs in 113 Tests at an average of 42.17 with 16 centuries. In ODI cricket, Ganguly played 311 matches, scoring 11,363 runs at an average of 41.02 with 22 centuries.
However, it was as captain that Ganguly is remembered the most though. He took over the reins when India were still recovering from the aftermath of the match-fixing scandal of 2000 and famously led them to victory at home over Steve Waugh's world-beating Australian team in a Test series. This included the memorable win at the Eden Gardens where India prevailed despite being forced to follow on.
He also led India to the final of the 2003 World Cup and to the final of the 2002 Champions Trophy, where India were eventually declared joint winners with Sri Lanka as the final was washed out due to rain.
Most importantly, Ganguly under his captaincy, gave opportunity and backed a large pool of talented players, who became big match-winners for India. Later, he also served as the BCCI president from 2019 to 2022 and took very key decisions during his tenure.
"424 intl. matches, 18575 intl. runs, 38 intl. centuries. Here's wishing former #TeamIndia Captain and former BCCI President @SGanguly99 a very Happy Birthday," tweeted BCCI's from its official handle.
"Happy Birthday, Dada! May the almighty bless you with good health and prosperity. Have a great year ahead and I look forward to seeing you soon - @SGanguly99 #HappyBirthdayDada," said BCCI secretary Jay Shah in a tweet.
Meanwhile, legendary Sachin Tendulkar went down memory lane and shared an old picture of him with Ganguly while celebrating a moment on the field.
"Dadi is one man who would even celebrate his birthday on the offside. That’s how much he loved the offside. Happy birthday, my friend! @SGanguly99," wrote Tendulkar.
On the other hand, former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh wished Ganguly with a playful caption on Twitter.
"When you’re planning the next prank with dada without him knowing that he is the one who will actually be pranked. Happy birthday #dadi! Loads of love always @SGanguly99," tweeted Yuvraj.
Meanwhile, former India batter Wasim Jaffer said Ganguly took Indian cricket to new heights while wishing the former skipper on his birthday.
"This Jersey, this era will always be special for Indian cricket fans. Happy Birthday to the man who led India to new heights during this era. Wish you a wonderful year full of happiness and good health Dada @SGanguly99," Jaffer wrote on Twitter along with an old picture of Ganguly in the iconic jersey.
"Happy birthday dada @SGanguly99. Have a super birthday and a great year ahead with good health, fortune and eternal bliss !," tweeted current IPL chairman and former BCCI treasurer Arun Singh Dhumal.
"Tiger , prince of kolkata , Captain Happy Birthday Dada .. Light it, love it, live it .. lots of love .. @SGanguly99," said former India spinner Harbhajan Singh in his tweet.
India wicket-keeping batter Dinesh Karthik also wished Ganguly, calling him a legendary cricketer and a remarkable leader.
"Many happy returns of the day to a legendary cricketer and a remarkable leader, @SGanguly99. Wish you the best always, Dada!,” Karthik posted on his Twitter account.