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How Ganguly’s habit of turning up late for the toss started by accident

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Irfan Pathan, the former India all-rounder, has recalled how Sourav Ganguly would deliberately push the limits with regard to heading for the toss on time, even stressing out Sachin Tendulkar at one point.

Ganguly is infamous for keeping the opposition captain waiting at the toss, with the likes of Steve Waugh and Nasser Hussain driven to frustration. Speaking to Mayank Agarwal recently, Ganguly revealed how the tactic developed, having observed how “grumpy” Waugh was when he turned up late the first time, having forgotten his blazer.

Pathan remembers how the team manager, and even Tendulkar, would urge Ganguly to hurry up as the toss approached, all to no avail. “On my first tour of Australia, when he made Steve Waugh wait, I remember it clearly,” Pathan told Star Sports Cricket Connected.

“I would be in the dressing room and I remember whenever it was time for the toss, Dada used to look at the clock, and the manager would remind him that it’s time to go out for the toss.

“During the Sydney Test, I remember it was Sachin paaji who said, ‘Dada, you should go. It’s time for the toss.’ But Dada would take his sweet time to put on his shoes, sweater… adjusting his cap. When a person is getting late, the pressure becomes visible on his face, but Dada would never be in a hurry.”

Speaking to Agarwal in the ‘Open Nets With Mayank’ show, Ganguly had revealed his thought process behind the mind game. “It was an accident actually,” the former India captain said. “In the first Test match, I left my blazer in the dressing room. They were such a good side and I was really nervous in that series because it was my first big series as captain.

“[In the] last 25-30 years I hadn’t seen a team as good as Australia in that generation. Initially, I forgot my blazer in the first Test but then I realized that he reacted to it. It was working on them, working on the team, and how they went about their jobs. They were a bit grumpy with all that and it worked for us as we won the series 2-1. Having said that, Steve Waugh is a friend and I have tremendous respect for him as a cricketer. It was all in good humour.”

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