Mumbai: While some tried, not many could get under the skin of Sourav Ganguly. Fondly known as Dada, the now Cricket Association of Bengal president, though was once feared for his life after being held at gun point.
The former Indian skipper just managed to avoid what could have been a tragedy in London. Ganguly, in Beefy’s Cricket Tales, speaks about “one of the most terrifying moments” of his life which occurred in 1996.
In the chapter titled as “Troubles in England”, Ganguly describes the incident in detail.
“I will almost always drive myself around when I’m in England now, after one of the most terrifying moments of my life travelling on the London Underground. We got on the tube and set off towards Pinner. In our carriage there was a group of young teenagers, two boys and three girls, and they were drinking. We were sitting opposite them and I could see that one of them was looking at us while he was drinking his beer,” wrote Ganguly.
The things, Ganguly, who was accompanied by Navjot Singh Sindhu, described took a nasty turn.
“I could tell he was looking for some kind of reaction. I didn’t want to get involved at all and I said to Sidhu to leave it alone. I picked up the can and put it to one side, at which point the young lad stood up and said to me, ‘what did you say?’
“I told him I didn’t say anything, but Sidhu jumped in and confronted him. I knew then that there was going to be some trouble. I took my glasses off and threw them to the floor away from us, and got ready for whatever was to come. There were some punches thrown and, just as we got to a station, I pushed the lad and he fell over. He got up and the next thing I saw was a gun in my face. I, thought, My gosh, this is it – my life is going to be over here on this train,” recalled Ganguly.
Ganguly and Sidhu though were saved after a girl, who was stronger than the guy, grabbed him and took him off the train.
“But then one of the girls, who was quite big, grabbed him and pulled him away and took him off the train. She was really quite strong and I don’t think the young boy wanted to mess with her. I was shaking and obviously very upset, but thankfully my tour and my life were able to continue,” concluded Ganguly.