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Starstruck: I had managed to tickle Sourav Ganguly's humour — Vikram Sathaye

Vikram Sathaye shares his experience of meeting Sourav Ganguly and imitating him in front of an audience where he managed to tickle Dada's humour.

Starstruck:  I had managed to tickle Sourav Gangulys humour — Vikram Sathaye

Vikram Sathaye

Updated: 14 Nov 2021 10:33 AM GMT

I loved imitating Sourav Ganguly's batting style. Before twerking was made cool on social media, there was Dada, his eyes batting away fast and furiously as the ball danced towards him, his hip propped up in delicately immaculate fashion, giving top biz entertainers a run for their money.

I would say it in my act that it was influenced by Jennifer Lopez (JLO).

Parthiv Patel would be semi JLO and Ejaz Ahmed mother of JLO.

This photo was clicked at a special function at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) when Sourav took charge and invited me to perform in front of all the club members. The best part is I imitated him in front of all of them and he himself had a big laugh. I breathed a sigh of relief - yes, I had managed to tickle Dada's humour!

Since the time I've known him, he always came across as someone secure and always respected and all-associated with the game. Brimming with confidence, Ganguly and cricket made a fine match.

The gift of unbelievable grit

The one thing Ganguly gave Indian cricket was FEARLESSNESS. You could be in England, Australia or New Zealand, the team under Ganguly walked out as if they owned the place - unafraid, unfettered and unfazed against the biggest names.

Ganguly took over the reins of the team when it was at its lowest-best and from there to tow it towards the glorious exploits was no mean task. Behind the rapid blink-blink of his eyes and nervous nail-biting on the field, Ganguly kindled a fire inside of him - and the heat of that kept an entire team warm and even lit fires anew.

All of this - it came from the captain - Sourav Ganguly, who revolutionized the mindset of Indian cricket. Ganguly was cheeky, he was no Mr. Goody Two Shoes. He famously irked Steve Waugh by making him wait for the toss during the 2001 India vs Australia Test Series and former England skipper Nasser Hussain admitted to 'hating' Ganguly for his sense of punctuality.

However, Ganguly's fiery attitude gave much-needed confidence to the Indian team which was the reason they started winning abroad - their opponents no longer put on a pedestal in their mind, but at the same, mortal level. Talent may be one thing but not having self-belief and the faith in oneself to go that extra mile, take that leap of faith had curbed India's growth as a cricketing nation - till Ganguly came along.

If you ask Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan or Yuvraj Singh, they all keep telling how they were backed by this leader which made them perform without fear. Not to sound corny but 'Darr ke aage jeet hai' is the most apt tagline for this Indian team which grew - mentally and was undaunted in the face of challenges.

Bill Campbell who was a Coach to Eric Schmidt and the Google team, Steve Jobs and a whole lot of Silicon Valley founders was called "Evangelist of Courage". Reason?

He encouraged his team to take risks and gave them the support to be courageous which is an important quality for a leader. I feel, Ganguly was also an Evangelist of courage, wasn't he?

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