Former India captain and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said organising the 2016 World Twenty20 matches at the Eden Gardens was a lifetime experience. “I may have played 400-plus matches but I must say hosting a world tournament is a lifetime experience and an eyeopener,” Ganguly said at the CAB annual awards ceremony here.
Showering praise on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her help during the World Twenty20 clash between India and Pakistan after it was shifted to Eden Gardens following protests in Dharamsala, Ganguly said: “I thank Mamata Banerjee for her help during the India Pakistan World T20 game. It was shifted from Dharamsala and we had 45 minutes to confirm whether the Eden Gardens can host the game or not.
“She (Mamata) was in a meeting in some district and I called her to pass on the message that if we don’t get back to the ICC within the next 45 minutes, the game could go to Mohali or any place close to Dharamsala.”
The Eden Gardens hosted five matches of last year’s Twenty20 World Cup, including the final, where West Indies beat England.
Talking about Jhulan Goswami, who was given a special award for her exploits in the Women’s World Cup, Ganguly said: “I still very much remember the World Cup final on Sunday. The last time my mother watched a cricket match was when I played, and the next time was when you played.
“She was sitting next to me and saying I hope Jhulan wins the World Cup. Nevertheless you will have another opportunity in the Women’s World Twenty20 (next year),” he added.
“What a remarkable achievement. You have put women’s cricket in the map,” Ganguly signed off.