Saurav Ganguly Book review – A Century is not enough with leadership lessons


A century is not enough: my roller-coaster ride to success : Saurav Ganguly Autobiography

Let us talk about the most successful Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly, also known as Dada & Prince of Calcutta.

In 1992, for just scoring 8 runs on his first ODI debut match against West Indies, he was dropped from the series & lost place in team India.

In 2019 Saurav Ganguly was selected as BCCI president. Now what made him reach from zero to hero in his walk of life.

What are his strategies and qualities, what philosophy made him a successful captain?

Before going deep into it, let me give you a short introduction about him.

About Saurav Ganguly family and his childhood

Sourav Ganguly was born in one of the wealthiest Bengali familie in Kolkata on 08th July 1972.

They live as a joint family with their family members in a luxurious house with 48 rooms with Gym and cricket pitch to practice.

Their family is involved in the printing business, which is the 3rd largest in Asia. They used to print for all corporates and multinational companies.

Initially, he used to play football. Later, he started playing cricket because of his brother- Snehashish Ganguly.


In 1998, he received Arjuna award

In 2004, he received Padma Shri award

For outstanding contribution to Indian cricket, today he is taking charge as a BCCI president which is the biggest governing authority of Indian cricket.

Top 3 leadership qualities of  Saurav Ganguly

1. Preparing & taking action now for long term success.

When the MS. Dhoni team won the world cup in 2011, its preparation wasn’t started in 2010, 2009 or 2008. It started straight from the year 2000.

When Sourav Ganguly became captain for team India.

Now I’ll explain to you how

When he lost his place in team India first debut match in 1992

He went back to domestic cricket and started performing well and finally after 4 years of hard work in domestic cricket, he got his place back in the Indian team in 1996. Then he started to open with Sachin and scored many centuries for India and became a captain in 2000.

At the same time, team India is going through the match-fixing scandals and other controversies.

Sourav remembered his 1992 experiences for his first debut match where Mohammed Azaruddhin, Sanjay Manjrakar, Dilip Vengsarkar were his senior players in the team.

Once he stepped into team India, he did not get proper support and welcome from senior players. When he entered the dressing room environment was difficult, and uncomfortable for young players.

All seniors used to sit on one side and all the juniors used to sit on the other side. Seniors were more interested in making their places secure in team India.

Juniors were not getting a proper chance to showcase their talents. Because of this atmosphere, Sourav lost peace of mind and received tension in mind.

So, he couldn’t perform well, so he has dropped from team India. All the experiences we’re going through his mind. Once he became a captain in 2000, he didn’t want young players to go through the same state of uncertainty that whether I belong to the team or not, he promised to himself that he’ll provide peace of mind to young players and he selected Shewag, Zaheer Khan, Harbajhan, Yuvraj Singh& Dhoni.

Now all these young players became legends of Indian cricket in winning 2011 world cup where MS.Dhoni as captain, Yuvraj Singh as the man of the tournament and you all know how Harbajhan, Zaheer and Shewag contributed.

Now from this incident, we can learn that whether in sports or in life, we need to go through highs and lows. But remember, definitely the dark phase of life will go and the bright phase will come. Learn from (-ve) phase of life and use it in the (+ve) phase of life.

Now let’s decode strategy-2

2.Creating opportunity for young talent:

Sourav Ganguly had great quality called eye to pick young talent and make them play for the country.

Ex: MS.Dhoni was a young player, he just started his international cricket career and he was playing a match against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam.

For that particular match, one day before batting order was confirmed and he was about to bat at 7th place in the match.

Ganguly was a captain and he is thinking Dhoni has an amazing talent and potential he is not getting proper opportunity to showcase his talent.

The next day morning, MS.Dhoni came casually wearing shorts and started watching batting of Sehwag and Sachin thinking that he is at 7th order to bat.

Suddenly Ganguly called Dhoni and told Dhoni to go and get ready to bat at 3rd order. Dhoni replied what about you dada.

Ganguly replied I’ll go at 4th order, you don’t worry about me.

Because of this support and opportunity from the captain, playing at 3rd order instead of 7th order made MS. Dhoni scored 148 runs, and hidden talent came out, and a new captain was born. This is how leaders are born.

Not only for MS.Dhoni he gave an opportunity to many young players to play around 8 to 10 matches each so that they overcome the pressure and play up to their potential naturally.

He used to tell them you don’t worry what selectors and press will tell, I’ll give an answer to them, you’re a wonderful player who can make a major contribution to winning the match. This is my belief and you also believe in yourself.

He is a great team builder, he appreciated when the team performed well, never blamed when they couldn’t.

His expressive nature telling openly what went good and bad made him build trust and confidence that the team required.

3. Being fearless and aggressive fighting spirit

in those days Sohaib Akthar used to bowl with 150 Km/Hr, many batsmen used to feel nervous to face him, but being a captain, he faced him dearly and said if I don’t face him, how could my team face him & in the year 2005 he had a massive fallout with coach Grey Chappell that made him drop captaincy and lose the place in the national team and he found himself playing domestic matches instead in front of half-empty galleries, where no one recognized him.

He even used to come in TV Commercials. He came back in 2007 and made his best years in his entire career.

I always believe.

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