Sourav Ganguly speaks exclusively with Arnab Goswami on Health, Cricket, BCCI and Politics

In an exclusive interview with Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami on the Network’s newest channel Republic Bangla, Cricket legend and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly candidly spoke about his health, television career, sports, the BCCI, retirement, politics, and future plans. In a one-of-its-kind interview that comes just two months after he suffered a health scare, the former Indian Cricket team captain who is an idol even beyond his home state of Bengal and a legend who has become the symbol of fearlessness and ‘No Compromise’ has spoken out on every issue, and taken all of Arnab’s questions in classic style.

Sourav Ganguly Speaks To Arnab Goswami: Translated from Bengali 

Arnab Goswami: How are you Sourav? You look absolutely fit.

Sourav Ganguly: I am quite alright. This is my first interview in the last two-three months, so it feels really good. 

Arnab Goswami: You look fitter now.

Sourav Ganguly: I have always been fit, and since I also work in Television, I have to stay fit. And also since I have always seen myself fit in the mirror all my life, it will feel bad if I see myself putting on weight. When you are a cricketer, it is easier to maintain fitness and weight as you are constantly running, batting and bowling, but once you retire from Cricket, you cannot lose the same amount of weight by just doing cardio or going to the gym. 

Sourav Ganguly Speaks About His Recent Hospitalisation

Arnab Goswami: What happened that day? (Sourav getting hospitalized), I was in Delhi when I heard the news and was absolutely shocked. 

Sourav Ganguly: I work out very often, even that day, after a workout and running for 40 minutes, I felt a bit of acidity and indigestion. The previous day, we had a good meal at home after a long time (New Year’s day) as I was not going out due to COVID-19 to have outside food, maybe that is why there was a bit of indigestion. But as the acidity was not subsiding, my mother asked me to go to the hospital for a checkup. I have a hereditary issue of heart problems. After the check-up, the doctor said there are a couple of blocks in my arteries, but my heart was fine.

Arnab Goswami: Who were the doctors? 

Sourav Ganguly: Doctors like Dr. Saroj Mandal, Dr. Devi Shetty, Dr. Aftab Khan, Dr. Saptarshi Basu, and Dr. Ashwin Mehta took good care of me, it was unbelievable. 

Arnab Goswami: What was your first reaction when you got to know the problem?

Sourav Ganguly: Initially I felt a little bad about it because as I am just 48. What I was before 2nd January, I am still the same in terms of all feelings, body, health. 

Sourav Ganguly Speaks About His Show ‘Dadagiri’

Arnab Goswami: Sourav, you are so popular and respected here, your TV show ‘Dadagiri’ is everyone’s favorite. 

Sourav Ganguly: It has been 8 years now. When the show started in 2011, and I went to the set for the shoot, I saw so many producers, sponsors, participants, and timely maintenance. That was something I never did before, and now I cannot believe that I have completed 8 years now. The TV show is an opportunity to connect with the diverse people of Bengal from Darjeeling in the North to 24 Parganas in the South. I couldn’t connect the same way with the people of Bengal by playing cricket as I could with my TV show. I  will shoot the next season of my TV show in August. 

Arnab Goswami: Will your risk-taking ability remain the same in the future? 

Sourav Ganguly: My life as a player has been much different than that which has been after. I always tell people that there is no retake in sports. You can correct a mistake in a document or you can reshoot a scene for a movie, there is always a second chance, but you cannot do that in sports. That is the greatness of sports, it is real, and that is why athletes and sportsmen are so valued. 

Sourav Ganguly on being at the helm of the BCCI

Arnab Goswami: You are the first former Indian cricket team captain in 65 years who became the BCCI chief.

Sourav Ganguly: BCCI is completely a new place for me. I am linking it though, as before this I was the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for five years. So the experience which I gained in CAB has helped me in BCCI. Our BCCI team is really young, where I am the senior-most by age, as Jay (Shah) is only 30 and Arun is in his early 40s. Organizing IPL during the pandemic was a massive challenge, but we still had to go on because Cricket’s eco-system survives. I have got another 20 months in BCCI

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‘Obvious’: Sourav Ganguly On His Attachment To Cricket

Arnab Goswami: By listening to you, it feels that you still attached to Cricket emotionally

Sourav Ganguly: That’s obvious. Quite natural.

Arnab Goswami: Yes, but it has been 11 years since you have retired from cricket. So now how long are you going to stick to cricket administration? Will it be ICC after BCCI? 

Sourav Ganguly: See, ICC is too far-fetched. There is no guarantee on it. 

Arnab Goswami: But do you enjoy the administration?

Sourav Ganguly: Yes I do, but I enjoy Cricket more because that is something I have done since childhood. 

Arnab Goswami: We can never forget the day you retired from cricket 

Sourav Ganguly: You never know where life goes. Life cannot always go as planned. I will never get tired of cricket. I will always be associated with it in one way or another. You need to know when to leave something. That is very important. You leave when you are at the best. People should ask why, rather than why not?

Million-dollar question: What Next For Sourav Ganguly? 

Arnab Goswami: Do you have further plans? Do you aspire to do more different things?

Sourav Ganguly:  Life pulls you to different places, so deal with it. Circumstances take you to different places. Who knows where life takes you? Killer instinct has gone down with time. Killer instinct has blunted with time. Off the field, I am not as aggressive. With age, you mellow down quite a lot. I want to be successful at whatever I do. Cricket still rules my heart. With the situation, with age, with your family growing, your mindset also changes. I do a lot of things, but half of my mind is with Sana. For me, cricket was everything. Cricket administration I won’t do for long, it has a shelf life. Cricket administration is a one-time thing, you finish and you move on. Other opportunities come, which as and when they come, we will see. I don’t decide life, I just see where it goes. I just want to focus on my health, get fit, and get back to my life. Be happy. Focus is on health, enjoying what I am doing now, and family. If you give me responsibility, I will give the best shot. Team captain, BCCI Chief, Revamping a team. These are amazing opportunities, Opportunities to change things. So you will always give your best. Don’t rule out anything. 

Arnab Goswami: Would you ultimately like the idea of joining politics, what do you think about it?

Sourav Ganguly: I think one should do what they like doing, it is about how you do it at the end of the day. No work is big or small. Why should politics be bad?  Good people should be in politics because they actually decide your life. I don’t make decisions in a hurry, I think it through. 

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