Former India captain Sourav Ganguly recently admitted that he regrets the decision of taking his shirt off at the iconic Lord’s Cricket Ground in 2002. Fondly known as the ‘Prince of Kolkata’, Ganguly feels that particular incident has created a very negative image of him in the public domain.
“Everybody says that its the most iconic moment. But I wouldn’t do it again. I came from a very conservative and shy Bengali family. It just happened in the heat of the moment. I think the perception people had when I played the sport was different,” Sourav Ganguly told Barkha Dutt in an exclusive interview for the Week Live.
“They took the perception on the field on the field as it was, but, off the field I was a completely different person. I had to put on this attitude of mine because I wanted everyone winning cricket matches,” he further added.
The NatWest Series finals between India and England in 2002 is widely deemed as one of the greatest ODI matches. India registered a heart-wrecking 2-wicket victory in that match while chasing England’s mammoth target of 325. Soon after Zaheer Khan hit the winning runs off Andrew Flintoff’s bowling, Ganguly had taken his shirt off at the Lord’s balcony which had left the entire cricket fraternity stunned.
Revealing the rationale why he still regrets that act, Sourav remarked that there were better ways to show emotions and he is a very docile person off the field.
“I regret it because there are better ways of showing your happiness of beating England at Lords. I’m not that type of person who would take their shirt off and get agitated. I’m normally very docile, but that cricket field turned me differently,” Ganguly concluded.