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A Century is not Enough: My Roller-coaster Ride to Success Hardcover – Illustrated, 24 February 2018
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- Item Weight : 499 g
- Hardcover : 296 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9789386228567
- ISBN-13 : 978-9386228567
- Dimensions : 20 x 14 x 4 cm
- Publisher : Juggernaut; 1st edition (24 February 2018)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 9386228564
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Books on sports and sports persons is a newly acquired reading habit. In the last 5 years, would have read more than a dozen books. Needless to say, a large number of these have been on cricket and cricketers. ( Followed by Tennis). Some of the more memorable ones are A Corner of a Foreign Field by Ramachandra Guha, Wounded Tiger – The history of Cricket in Pakistan by Peter Oborne and two outstanding autobiographies of Tennis legends : Open by Andre Agassi and Unstoppable by Maria Sharapova. The worst outing was the Sachin autobiography in collaboration with Boria Mazumdar : Playing it my way, closely followed by Democracy’s XI by Rajdeep Sardesai.
So when the new book of Saurav Ganguly ( my all time favourite) hit the book stands, bought it promptly and I now have a confession to make…finished it in one sitting.
This is not an autobiography which starts in a maternity home in Behala and covers all his life till his retirement – but only a few cricketing moments which are important in the celebrated stylist’s life – his no holds barred views on them and what he learnt out of them. And if you have a man who doesn’t call a spade a spade but a bloody shovel…you are guaranteed an interesting book with remarkable insights with great acuity and precision…..and which will go down as one of the better sports books that I have read.
There is a lot to learn from a remarkable player and an inspirational captain….who got us our self belief back…after the match fixing days of his predecessor…and won us tournaments in India and abroad…..by leading from the front and thru a great display of leadership…..a very interesting and well written book….my only complaint being it is too short….should have covered more of the great man’s life.
Sachin Tendulkar has more batting records and centuries, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman had better craft and also possibly averages, Dhoni has more successes as the leader of the team but if one has to pick up the five most charismatic players in Indian cricket in the last 50 years……who combine style, success, attitude, aggression talent and chutzpah - possibly Saurav Ganguly figures on the top of the list…in my list in the company of ML Jaisimha, Salim Durrani, Tiger Pataudi and our new cricketing boss…Virat Kohli.
Neatly split into three parts, Saurav takes us thru his initial days, then half a dozen chapters on his days as the Captain and the final part which seems to be the most painful for him is his being in and out of the team despite superlative performance, his days as the Kolkatta Knight Riders Captain to finally hanging up his boots on his own terms.
I think destiny has not been kind on him. From his initial struggles where it took him almost 4 years to be a regular fixture in the team to being victimized by the all powerful Greg Chappels to his see-saw equation with the KKR team owners – he possibly needed to be handled with greater grace in life by the powers that be for the services he rendered to the Indian cricket team. While he does not hold it against Dravid, one can sense an undercurrent of bitterness about his good friend and one gets a feeling that if Dravid stuck his neck out, Saurav would have been dealt better by the establishment.
In an era of oh-so-politically correct cricket players ( think Sachin / Rahul / VVS), it is gratifying to know of one man who could take on the establishment if required if he was convinced that he was doing the right thing for the game. His insistence on backing newcomers to the hilt guaranteeing them a full series when on board has given India a whole bunch of flamboyant match winning players….like Sehwag, Bhajji, Yuvraj and also to a certain extent, the venerable Dhoni.
The Prince of Kolkatta as Geoff Boycott fondly referred to him is now onto a new career as an administrator and is one of the few administrators who has played the game at the highest levels. And with his courage of conviction, hopefully will do a lot of good to the game in the background as he did it in the foreground as a cricketer.
A thoroughly enjoyable book.
My rating: 4/5.
1) Early Childhood
2) School and College Life
3) Entry into Cricket
4) Older Brother
5) Love life
6) Register Marriage
7) Final Match and Farewell
8) Natwest Final and 2001 Kolkatta Test
9) Best Dressing Room Moments
10) Best Friends in Team
11) Other Controveries
As an avid fan of Sourav, this book was slightly disappointing to not have much info on the above areas. An awesome read though, a captain’s perspective has never been illustrated so well.
This is not a cricketing autobiography, but also a self help motivational book, it's a book for life and it tells you how strong people make it thru the vicissitudes. This book has a story line, and Dada has gone thru so much that there can be a movie made out of him.
I've always liked dadas style of leadership on the field, but to know he's also an introverted person is something that people don't know.
Well, if you want to get motivated, if you are in the downs and if you want to hear dadas story, go read this book. I'm sure you'll not regret it. While Sachin is a God figure for many, Dada is the fighter... A man becomes hard only when Iron is poured into hot furnace.
Top reviews from other countries
It’s easier said than done. His time was like the Cambrian period of Indian Cricket and talent proliferated in every conceivable specialization. Then it was Sourav’s vision and leadership that orchestrated Sachin’s genius with Rahul’s perfection, Laxman’s Artistry with Kumble’s magic, the seniors’ stability with the juniors’ promise and produced the symphony of wins.
Sourav’s book faithfully chronicles that period. It’s more of a flying manual for an instinctive captain negotiating a turbulent transformation. Some of his leadership tenets are borrowed from the words and wisdom of his role models: David Gower, Desmond Haynes, Wasim Akram. And the rest - he had to invent, much like the game he played - straight from the guts.
What a backdrop for his prolific treble (10,000 runs, 100 wickets & 100 catches) in ODI cricket and 7000+ runs in Test! It’s surprising and shocking to know how his personal fate oscillated between sheer survival and super success as he went about bringing in talent and stability at the highest level. The fairy-tale stories in his book leave out none of the folklore that made that era: the Greg Chappel saga, the 2001 follow-on win against Australia, the early exit from 2007 World cup ... and so on.
And then he delights an eternal fanboy like me with more - his life-lessons.
Let me recount just two. First, how to treat your opponent when they are your equal or more. Sourav’s runs-in with Power and Prejudice are well known. What is lesser known is the finesse and restraint, he has dealt them with. Second, his insights into the changing face of cricket: the portmanteau cricket (better known as T20, a 21st century fusion of one-day cricket and European franchise Soccer). Sourav sensed and dwells on the tectonic shifts that would shake, rock and shift Cricket out of its traditional base of 22-yards.
India have come a long way in International Cricket since their first overseas tour (1911) to the second world cup victory (2011). True, even this century (1911-2011) won’t have been enough to get there but for the script Sourav Ganguly authored.
This book is definitely a must-read for all the aspiring sport persons in India and cricket fraternity. No matter which sports they play, the book will teach them how to handle things.
Only thing I wish the book was loaded more incidents, lessons. In some cases, I found that the writer and publisher are rushing. Other than that, this is the best book I read in recent times.