We all wanted to be like Pankaj Roy: Ganguly

Kolkata, Dec 3 (IANS) Former India cricket captain Sourav Ganguly Monday said his generation of players in Bengal all wanted to be like celebrated Test opener Pankaj Roy when he started playing cricket.

"The modern generation wants to be like (M.S.) Dhoni, (Rahul) Dravid or Yuvraj (Singh) but when we started playing cricket all we knew was about Pankaj-da," said Ganguly at the launch of a book on Bengal's cricket legend Roy.

Pankaj Roy is best known for establishing the world record opening partnership of 413 runs with Vinoo Mankad against New Zealand at Chennai in 1956, which remained unbroken for 52 years.

The Bengali version of the biography 'Pankaj', written by journalist Gautam Bhattacharya and edited and conceptualised by Roy's son Pranab - also a former Test cricketer - was released by cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar at the glittering function graced by the entire Indian cricket team and a host of Bengali film celebrities and business magnates.

"I never got to see the great one play. I have only heard stories about him. It will be good to know more things about him and his contribution to the sport," said Tendulkar.

Current India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni released the English edition of the book along with Ganguly.

"Pankaj Roy was known to me as Pranab's father when I started playing cricket. His views about cricket were different from the cricket we play nowadays. The book will give a good insight because everything during Pankaj's days was not covered by the media and everything was not available on Google and other such platforms. Overall it will be very good to read," said Dhoni.

The book contains a preface by Ganguly.

For author Gautam Bhattacharya, penning the biography was like travelling back into time.

"While I travelled back into time to Pankaj's India when writing the book, one was shocked and amazed to see the state of affairs in the team. The team was just a loose collection of 11 individuals who incidentally wore the same cap," said Bhattacharya.

Terming his experience of putting together the book as 'emotionally and physically draining', Bhattacharya added: "He did not get to see the birth of Team India under Sourav Ganguly since he (Pankaj) passed away in early 2001."

Turning to Dhoni, he said: "Team India has only changed hands, Team India has remained Team India. Pankaj up there must be smiling and nodding in approval and wishing he could have played for Team India."

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