RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Sourav Ganguly - The Maharaja of Cricket
Sourav Ganguly - The Maharaja of Cricket - Debasish Datta

Foreword by: Geoffrey Boycott

Published by: Niyogi Books
D-78, Okhla Industrial Area
Phase I, New Delhi - 110 020

Web: www.niyogibooks.com
Tel: 011 26816301
Fax: 011 26813830

Pages: 204

Price: Rs.1,500/-

Sourav Ganguly was one of the most successful Indian captains in both Tests and ODIs. He led India 49 times in Tests, winning 21 of them, losing 13 and drawing 15, enjoying a success % of 42.85. He was adjudged the Man of the Match six times in Tests - twice against Sri Lanka and once each England, Australia, Pakistan and South Africa apart from receiving three Player of the series awards - once each against England, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Sourav was adjudged the Player of the series seven times in One Day Internationals. His tally of 31 Man of the Match awards has been bettered only by three players in ODIs - Sachin Tendulkar (61), Sanath Jayasuriya (48), Jacques Kallis (32). Sourav's success % of 53.52 in ODIs is bettered only by a few Indian captains.

Geoffrey Boycott has never seen a better timer of the ball than Sourav Ganguly. In his foreword for a book Sourav Ganguly - The Maharaja of Cricket, he says, "Believe me, I have seen quite a few exquisite players. I still cannot forget his first Tet hundred at Lord's where he had made his debut in 1996. Not once did the England bowlers manage to beat him outside the off-stump."

Commenting on Ganguly's captaincy, Boycott says, "in England, Mike Brearley is still a hero for his captaincy. Nobody remembers his runs or his insignificant batting average. In Australia, Mark Taylor went through around 20 Tests without contributing much with the bat. Yet he was revered and backed by the Board and the selectors. Unfortunately, although Sourav did great things after taking over the reins when Indian cricket was in the doldrums and had given it a certain direction through his truly inspiring leadership qualities, he never enjoyed the same luxury."

Sourav Ganguly - The Maharaja of Cricket is a coffee-table book, with excellent photographs, including a few from Dona Ganguly's collection. The book has been well-crafted by seasoned sports journalist Debasish Datta, who has followed India's fortunes diligently over the last three decades and has rubbed shoulders with the best in the world of sports.

The book is a tribute to the grit, courage and dedication of one man who taught Indian cricketers to dream. He is the man who can be credited with building Team India, brick by brick.

According to Debasish Datta, the best things in life have always come to Sourav Ganguly amid crisis and with a twist of late. Right from his debut in first-class cricket, ODIs and Tests, providence has played a major part in Sourav's career. Nothing has ever come to him on a platter. So it was no surprise that the most coveted job in Indian cricket came his way at a time when the Indian team was scraping the bottom of the barrel, so to say.

"Bengal hasn't produced many cricketers of repute. Pankaj Roy and Sourav are the only ones who have made their mark on the international stage. I would be happy if this book inspired any of the promising players to make it big. Souav's deeds, his never-say-die attitude, courage, fighting qualities should also serve as enough motivation", remarked Debasish.

Nineteen pages statistical section pertaining to Sourav Ganguly's career is compiled by Kashinath Bhattacharya. Winning % should have been mentioned in the graphics - One Day Captains & Test Captains - India and all time.

Well-designed and attractively produced, the book is worth acquiring.