This day that year: Sourav Ganguly takes off shirt at Lord’s balcony after India win thrilling NetWest final

first_imgSachin Tendulkar tries to give himself a lot of width and smash one through the covers. Instead, he gets castled by left-arm spinner Ashley Giles. India are reduced to 145 for 6. They have lost their biggest match winner in Tendulkar for 14 in a mammoth chase of a mammoth 326 at the iconic Lord’s against hosts England.Many television sets were switched off back in the country after Tendulkar’s wicket. “That might be the death for India in this Natwest series final,” the on-air commentator quipped.17 years ago on this day, India let England post a mamoth total of 325 in the final of the tri-series against England. India and England had gotten the better of Sri Lanka to reach the final but for the most part of the final, India were under pressure.England opener Marcus Trescothick hit 109 from just 100 balls and captain Nasser Hussain scored a fine 115 as the hosts took the Indian attack to the cleaners. England played out India spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble and took the attack to the bowlers.Captain Sourav Ganguly had a horrible day with the ball as the part-timer conceded 28 runs in 3 overs but there was no stopping Ganguly when he walked out to bat with Virender Sehwag.India were off to a flying start as Sourav Ganguly and Virender Sehwag played T20-style cricket in the first 10 overs and took India past the 100-run mark inside the first 15 overs. However, after the 106-run opening stand was broken by Alex Tudor, India were in a spoit of bother.advertisementFrom 106 for 0, India went to 146 for 5, losing Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Mongia, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in the process.India were in trouble when two of their young guns in Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif joined hands at the middle. The chase looked improbable but not for Yuvraj and Kaif who scripted one of the most memorable wins in the history of Indian cricket.The 2002 rewind: On this day, a moment in history. #TeamIndia clinched the NatWest Series at Lord’s pic.twitter.com/ISfePGAyK5BCCI (@BCCI) July 13, 2019Yuvraj counter-attack, taking the likes of Andrew Flintoff and Ronnie Irani to the cleaners. Mohammad Kaif gave him the perfecet support from the other end. The duo addded 123 runs for the 6th wicket during which television sets were switched on back home. The Indian fans at Lord’s found their voices back. In fact, the decibel levels hit the roof as Yuvraj and Kaif showed for the first time that India was not just about their their powerful top-order.Yuvraj departed for 69 in the 42nd over. India still needed 59 but Kaif batted wonderfully well with the tall and took the team past the finish line. The winning runs came off an overthrow.Ganguly takes off shirt at Lord’s balconyIndian fans erupted in joy. The cameras panned to the Lord’s dressing room where the players celebrated in delight. Sourav Ganguly emerged from behind VVS Laxman, took his shirt off and celebrated the win. He was roaring in delight. It was him who laid the foundation… not just for the chase in the big final but for an Indian team that would go on to become world beaters in the following years.”Everybody says that it’s the most iconic moment. But I wouldn’t do it again. My daughter sees it asks why did you do that and I say, because I was happy. I came from a very conservative and shy Bengali family. It just happened in the heat of the moment,” Ganguly told Barkha Dutt in an interview in 2018.In another episode, former cricket-turned commentator Geoffrey Boycott had called Ganguly a ‘naughty boy’ and demanded an explanation for his act.Here’s the conversation Ganguly had with Boycott in the commentary box.Boycott: “You must mention your experience about taking your jersey off and flying it in the air at the Mecca of Cricket: Lord’s! Ohhh, you naughty boy!”Ganguly: “One of your boys (Andrew Flintoff) also took off his jersey here in Mumbai.”Boycott: “Yeah, but Lord’s is the Mecca of cricket.”Ganguly: “Lord’s is your Mecca, and Wankhede is ours!”Ganguly may regret it but not of the Indian fans would. It was indeed an iconic moment!Also Read | Virender Sehwag recalls Sourav Ganguly’s Salman Khan act after 2002 Natwest Series triumphAlso See:last_img