Today is the 49th birthday of Indian cricket legend Sourav Ganguly. His captaincy and performance took India to another level.
But 'Dada' started his career for Bengal replacing his elder brother Snehashis Ganguly.
Anyone will be surprised to know that it was only to use his elder brother's kit, Sourav started batting left-handed.
It was a cumbersome moment for the Ganguly household in the year 1990 when Snehasish Ganguly was dropped prior to the Ranji Trophy final and Sourav was handed his first-class debut for Bengal.
Snehasish was an established batsman in the domestic circuit while Sourav was just a teenager trying to fill the big shoes of his brother. The worse part was that their father was the secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB).
Snehashis Ganguly was in pretty good form in the 1989-90 Ranji season. He had scored 167 runs in just five innings at an average of 55.66.
Rumors were there that soon Snehashis was going to get a chance in the Indian national team and selector Raj Singh Dungarpur was coming to watch the Ranji final mainly to watch him play.
But a surprise awaited. The day before the match he was informed he was dropped from the side. His brother Sourav Ganguly would play in his place!
"It was a big blow. I still don't know the reason! Possibly for the team combination, because Sourav used to bowl too. I have no regrets. Because the best player in Bengal played in my place," said Snehashis.
In an interview, Sourav said, "Back then I was in 12th grade. My board exams were in 15 days. I went to a coaching class. I came home and put the books on the table and asked for food from my mother. My mother let me eat in the dining room. I noticed everyone was in silent mode. "What happened? Why is everyone silent?" I was told that I was playing the Ranji final for Bengal. I was delighted by the joy of Ranji's debut. At that time I asked my brother, 'Who has been dropped?' He replied, 'Me.' My smiling face became pale."
Bengal won the Ranji Trophy that season after a 50-year wait.
In his debut innings, Sourav scored 22 runs.
And Snehashis Ganguly could never wear the Indian jersey.
Snehasish later revealed how he lost interest in cricketing after continuously being overlooked for the national team. That was when he shifted his focus to the family business.
Snehasish accumulated 2,354 runs in 59 first-class matches. He believes he could have achieved a lot more before going on to provide vital insights to the most famous Ganguly of the household.