Kolkata: Four years after he announced his retirement from international cricket, former India captain Sourav Ganguly has called it quits from all forms of the game, including the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). Ganguly had continued playing first-class cricket for Bengal so as to keep in shape for his franchise Pune Warriors but after last year's debacle, he has at last decided against it.
"I will be almost 41 by the time IPL 6 ends. Twenty20 is a very demanding format. It would have been very tough for the body," Ganguly said while confirming that he had made his intention clear to Pune's officials during the fifth edition of the IPL.
"To captain in IPL, there is a lot of responsibility. You are answerable to many questions. It's better to captain the country. At least, nobody would phone you and ask what went wrong. I had a wonderful time playing in the IPL for five seasons. It gave me a chance to keep playing top-class cricket even after quitting international cricket. But I can't go on forever, and I have requested the franchise owners not to consider me for IPL 6", he said.
Asked whether coaching was on his agenda, Ganguly replied, "There is a long time left to become a coach. Even if anyone approaches me to turn up as a player I won't agree this time. There is no question of playing anywhere if I'm not playing in Pune. If I don't play IPL, I won't play for Bengal as well. It is tough to play a whole season of first-class cricket when you know that you are not going to play for India. I kept playing first-class cricket because you cannot just turn up for IPL without any sort of preparation."
About the future of Bengal cricket, Ganguly said: "Bengal cricket is in good hands. It is good to see the likes of Manoj [Tiwary], Wriddhiman [Saha], [Ashok] Dinda, Shami [Ahmed] and Anustup [Majumdar] knocking hard on the selectors' door. I wish them all the best."
Having debuted for Bengal on March 23, 1990 at Eden Gardens, Ganguly last played for the state and captained the side against Baroda in their Ranji match from December 21-24 last year. The left-hander figured in 254 first-class matches besides his sparkling International career that saw him becoming the most successful Test captain with 21 wins out of 49.
He scored 7,212 runs in 113 Tests and 11,363 runs in 311 ODIs in a career spanning more than a decade as he had announced his retirement at the Nagpur Test against Australia from November 6-10, 2008. Ganguly was part of the Big Four of Indian batting line-up alongside Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.