Pakistan spin legend Saqlain Mushtaq has tipped Sourav Ganguly to do well in his current role as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Saqlain revealed that Ganguly had won his heart when India played against his Sussex team during their tour of England in 2005-06.
India and Pakistan have shared a cricketing rivalry over the decades that is one of the best in all of sporting history. Off the field, however, players from either team have shared great camaraderie as Saqlain's words about the former Indian captain shows.
"Sourav Ganguly has done a tremendous job when he was captaining India and I am sure that he will go a long way in taking cricket forward in his country as the BCCI president. All the best and go ahead,” Saqlain said in a video on YouTube, reported IANS.
"When we used to play, there used to be a tremendous amount of passion from both sides. The fans used to make their presence felt. There used to be some misunderstandings as well, and even though I have been a part of it. However, once the match got over, we all used to put it behind us. I have never had a misunderstanding with Sourav," he said.
The 42-year-old further shared an interesting anecdote about Ganguly from their playing days — the pair have faced each other a few times on the pitch.
"When India was touring England, I was playing for Sussex. They had a three-day practice match in Sussex and Sourav (Ganguly) was not playing that match. Sussex won the toss and decided to bat. I think this had happened in 2005-06. I had undergone surgery on both knees and was bed-ridden for 36-37 weeks. I was both down and depressed," Saqlain said.
"I was making a comeback in that post surgery period and Sourav had come to watch that match. When Sussex were batting, Sourav had seen me from the balcony. I did not see him because our dressing room was facing the other direction. Ganguly then came to our dressing room and offered me a cup of coffee and enquired about my knees, life, family. Then we just started talking. He sat with me for 40 minutes and ended up winning my heart,” Saqlain added.