Former BCCI Officer spills beans on Ganguly's wish to play 2007 T20 World Cup
The story of the 2007 T20 World Cup triumph is rich in Indian cricket's folklore. One of the strongest adverts for investment and backing of the youth, the inaugural tournament in South Africa saw MS Dhoni-led young Indian side overcome the odds to lift the coveted crown and changed the landscape of T20 cricket forever with the successful launch of the Indian Premier League (IPL) thereafter.
The build-up to the event started amidst gloom as fans feared for the team's fate once legendary trio Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly opted out while the selectors decided to rest lead pacer Zaheer Khan. But what followed left everyone stunned as the youngistaan rallied on each other's shoulders to ignite hope and belief and packed the strongest punch.
There is, however, a twist to this fairytale that hasn't been spoken about before. Do you know there was a possibility that Ganguly could've travelled for the competition in the rainbow nation as the odd veteran in a squad filled with the exuberance of youth and promise?
As per former BCCI top official Ratnakar Shetty, Ganguly had expressed his desire to play the first-ever T20 World Cup even as Tendulkar and Dravid choose to let the youngsters take centre stage, identifying the shortest format, which was launched four years earlier in UK, as the "young man's game".
Ganguly wished to play 2007 T20 World Cup
In his book 'On Board - My Years in BCCI: Test, Trial, and Triumph', Shetty, who was the part of the board's regime at the time, revealed Ganguly contacting the then chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar to confirm his availability for the 2007 T20 World Cup.
That, even as earlier communication between the senior pros and the BCCI led by then India captain Dravid was that none of the trio deem it fit for them to travel for the newly-launched tournament played just after a brief gap from the long tour of England.
"A day before the selectors met, I received a call from Rahul. He told me that he had spoken to Sachin and Sourav, his predecessors, and both had concurred with his view that Twenty20 was a 'young man's game'. He accordingly requested me to inform the selectors that the three of them would not be available for the ICC World T20," Shetty writes.
"I told him that it would be better if he informed Dilip directly and connected the two just before the meeting commenced the next day. Dilip and his colleagues proceeded to pick 30 probables, sans the trio."
"Later, the chairman told me that he had received a call from Sourav, who said that he was in fact available for selection and the information conveyed to him was incorrect. By then of course, it was too late to change anything, as the probables had been announced."