The former captain and cricketer Sourav Ganguly, who is also known for his overseas success story, opened up about his love for food. The Bengal Tiger shared his memorable tour to Pakistan in 2003-04 where he described a time when he used to slip out of team hotels to have kebabs on the streets.
The tight security
India tour of Pakistan 2003-04, the host was beaten up by the visitors marking a memorable moment. The men in Blue thrashed the Pakistani team lead by Inzamam-ul-Haq in both the ODI and Test series (3-2 and 2-1 ).
Ganguly recalled being under tight security during the tour. He said that he was frustrated to see men with AK 47s standing outside his room’s door in the hotel they stayed.
“I got fed up with the security people. I came out of the hotel room on the first day and saw, they used to call them tigers, and they had 2 people with AK-47s, one looking towards the door and one looking on the other side.,” dada said in an India Today interview.
Getting fed up of security measures
Dada went to a local manager and told him that they are here for 45 days. He requested the manager to remove security in front of the room and put them in the lobby. He also recalled waking up every morning and seeing somebody standing there with an AK-47. “If he misfires (laughs) we don’t have to go till the lobby.”
Apart from Cricket, Sourav Ganguly opened up about how the team enjoyed the local food. He revealed how he used to slide out of the team hotel to have kebabs on the streets of Pakistan.
“It was madness (the security). I went out to have food and was caught because I didn’t tell the security. And our dear friend Rajdeep (Sardesai), he caught me and said the Indian captain is having kebabs on the food street and then the entire dinner finished after that. I had a cap on and I was peacefully having dinner and I hope Rajdeep will see this interview and I hope he’s keeping well.”
Ganguly also said that there was high security after the team arrived in Karachi. Protection was tight with every small road leading on to the main road being barred. Describing the hotel he said that the floors above and below in their hotel were not given to any guests for security purposes.
“I remember reaching out of the airport in Karachi and driving towards the hotel. The entire road was closed and it was a great 10kms drive. There was security, military, tigers anywhere you see. in every nook and corner. It was completely chock-a-block,” Ganguly said on the fifth episode of India Today Inspiration.
Team India emerged victorious in the tour winning the ODIs by 3-2 and Tests by 2-1. It was again in 2005-06 when the team lead by Rahul Dravid toured Pakistan and won the ODI series 4-1 but had lost the Tests 0-1. Later in 2009, the ICC stopped all international teams from touring Pakistan after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus outside the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.