When Sourav Ganguly increased the concern of Pervez Musharraf
Went to eat street food without security on 2004 Pakistan tour
New Delhi. Former President of Pakistan General Pervez Musharraf died on February 5, 2023 in Dubai. He was also the President of Pakistan for a long time. Musharraf’s love for cricket is not hidden from anyone. When the Indian team went on a tour of Pakistan in 2003-04. Then Pervez Musharraf was the President of Pakistan and at that time he praised Mahendra Singh Dhoni for his hairstyle. But, an anecdote of the same tour is even more famous, when he called Sourav Ganguly early in the morning.
Sourav Ganguly also mentioned this story in his autobiography ‘A Century is Not Enough’. In 2003-04, under the leadership of Ganguly, the Indian cricket team went on a tour of Pakistan. Earlier 5 ODIs were played between both the teams. Ganguly was injured while trying to take a catch in the last match. Then the doctor told him to rest for 3 weeks. In his absence, Rahul Dravid captained the Test. But then Ganguly had done such a thing that the then President of Pakistan Pervez Musharraf was also upset.
Ganguly had reached to eat street food without security
Ganguly has mentioned this in detail in his book ‘A Century is not Enough’. Ganguly said, “When we went to Pakistan in 2004, tight security arrangements were made for us. The hotel in Lahore where we were staying had been converted into a fort. I was recovering from my injury. At that time some of my friends had come from Kolkata to watch the match. In the middle of the night, I came to know that my friends had made a complete plan to enjoy kebabs and tandoori dishes at the famous food street of Golmandi. But I was under tight security cover. I wanted to get out of it. I didn’t tell my security officer. But, informed the team manager Ratnakar Shetty that I am going out with friends. Saying this I left through the back door. Hiding my face with my camp cap.
Ganguly further writes in this book, “I have reached there. But, during this time a person came to me and said, are you Ganguly? I refused immediately. But that person remained adamant that but you look like Ganguly. However, we were just finishing our food when an Indian journalist caught sight of me and raised his voice. After that I immediately left for the hotel.
Musharraf called the next morning
Ganguly says that the next morning the phone rang in my room and it was told from the other side that President Pervez Musharraf wants to talk to you. I could not understand why the President of Pakistan felt the need to talk to me so early in the morning. President Musharraf told me that next time if you have to go out, please inform the security. We will provide you security. But don’t go alone. I got embarrassed. At that time I felt that facing Wasim Akram’s ball was easier than facing the President.
FIRST PUBLISHED : February 22, 2023, 12:53 IST