‘A Century is not Enough – is not my autobiography’ says Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian Cricket captain. Once, you read the book; you know Dada is holding back a lot of punches. The fans will have to wait.
“It is your inner voice that has to eventually prompt you to set the desperation aside and pull you up. You have to tell yourself that the sun will rise tomorrow, you will have another opportunity. Yes, you will struggle with deep disappointments, endless frustration. But one day those feelings will come back to help you, pushing you to get to the next level.” “To get over this, stand in front of the mirror and tell yourself, yes, I dd lose yesterday, but my time will come. If you are budding crickets pack your equipment and make sure you get back to the place that provides the platform for recovery. That is the cricket ground”. ‘A Century Is Not Enough’. Saurav Ganguly.
This book from Maharaja Saurav Ganguly is a self-help motivational books with a spiked narration of cricketing incidents from the life of one of India’s moved loved batsman and captain, Dada Maharaja Saurav Ganguly.
It comes across as the pre-sell-in of a new-age motivational guru, or public-speaker sharing incidents from his life. There is a more than enough overdose of ‘You Decide’. ‘Destiny’, ‘I Can’ sprinkled throughout the book.
Ganguly is credited to transform the Indian team into an aggressive, assertive squad. The team was wanting to play to wins rather than a draw. Under him, the team started believing in its potential and capability to win matches even abroad. The book covers lot many incidents with honesty and straightforwardness we associate with dada. However, the motivational guru in such narrations acts like road-breakers, preventing Dada to weave a complete story for his readers.
The book is hugely contaminated with ‘I was always right’, ‘Selectors were wrong in dropping me’, ‘I fought it out’ and ‘I never Gave-up’. ‘I bounced back’ because ‘I never gave up’. And there is that Australian bloke Greg Chappel responsible for the traumatic time in Dada ’s life with a single objective and target; Saurav Ganguly.
Whenever sidelined, Dada has been more than able to project himself as a victim of some sinister plotting by people he trusted. The incidences from IPL career too have many such instances floating around including reference to Shah Rukh Khan and later Subrata Sahara interference in team selection etc. He has in few pages painted a picture of IPL that brings it down to a reality show or the town circus level. It leaves a bad taste and does damage IPL brand equity. Trust me; I will never be able to watch the IPL matches including the one on 17th April RCB-Mumbai Indian with the same intensity.
I recommend Dada to reread his book and try to channelise his angst in a proper direction. Its good to be honest and sometimes brutal in your evaluation but it is best to take the learnings from past incidence and to move forward.
At 46 years of age, ‘centuary in not enough’ is more damaging to the Saurav Ganguly’s Brand-i. The brand has always been robust and loved.
“For a lot of players handling retirement has not been easy. I have however thought positive all along. When I did a stocktaking, it did not look unimpressive. In that generation of Indian players, I was the first to reach 9000 runs in one-day cricket. Only the third player to score 10,000 runs and take 100 wickets. Captain if 200 games for India. One of the top special three in Indian cricket to have played 100 test and 300 one-dayers. I could leave with my head held high.” Saurav Ganguly. A century Is Not Enough.
Ganguly has been lucky to have played enough cricket with Pakistan team. Fans expect masala and heightened tension whenever the two teams play. Surprise of all, the book sounds like a crude attempt to build bridges with the Pakistan Cricket fans, boards and players. There is hardly an instance where dada fails to appreciate and find reasons to compliment Pakistan players across generations. It covers hospitality, on-ground behaviour, talent and willingness to interact.
If you know a bit of cricket, the book will make sense to you at multiple levels. Cricket matches and statistics seem a lot more incidental to the whole journey. The references and description are short, truncated and abrupt.
It leaves a lot to be desired, and maybe this is just the practice game before the real autobiography hits.
“You have to take chances. You have to be prepared to lose everything that you gained. To conquer and create history, you have to be always prepared to go beyond. You might stretch yourself to your absolute limits. You may feel terribly exhausted. Onlookers may declare that you have lost. But if you feel the hunger strongly within, don’t ever stop. Go for it. As they say. Keep the fire burning! The battle can do wonders, as I experienced while fighting Emporer Stephen Wagh in his palace.” ‘A century is not enough’. Saurav Ganguly.
Go ahead and enjoy it as anecdotal ‘even you can’ kind of self-help book from mental coach Saurav Ganguly.
The coach Dada slips one time when he refers to the 13th man as a water boy. The reason for his nicknames Dada and Maharaja become apparent to everyone.
The angst spilling across pages after pages of Greg Chappel Saga become that more cry of angst and frustration.
Here from the book. “Today when I think of how my fortunes swung from 2006 to 2007, I come to the conclusion that it was more than a roller-coaster ride. A coach had demoted my status to a WATER BOY in Faisalabad, and the same team utilised my services the very next year as the series winner. Against the same team. Even when things are not working out, don’t quit. Just hang in there. Darkness also has an expiry date.”
You don’t like it at all. You hate too much of ‘I, me and myself’ in the book. It is expected but has been overdone in this book.