Ganguly won my heart in 40 minutes: Saqlain

Written by The Frontier Post

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KARACHI: Pakistan’s legendary former spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, in a Youtube video, praised India’s legendary former captain and current president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) while narrating an incident during a practise match in England.

Mushtaq stated that the former captain won his heart after a 40-minute conversation while he was making a comeback after a surgery.

“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,” Mushtaq said. “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.”

The former spinner, while providing context to the incident, revealed that he was both down and depressed during that period. “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,” he said. “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.”

Mushtaq praised the contributions of Ganguly during his reign as captain and expressed his belief that the former captain was the ideal candidate to take the BCCI to new heights.

“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 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. “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.”

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