CAB, WB govt congratulate Ganguly, will honour him

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Kolkata, Dec 9 (UNI) Cricket Association of Bengal will honour former Team India skipper Sourav Ganguly for achieving the rare double in his Test career hitting his first century at Eden Gardens and following it with the first double-ton of his Test career at Bangalore.

Ganguly reached the first double hundred of his career against Pakistan at Bangalore in the third and final Test collecting a two pushing Yasser Arafat to the cover regions. His 200 came of 324 balls with 26 boundaries and two sixes, before he was gone for 239.

Ganguly is playing his 99th Test and now has 16 Test centuries.

CAB President Prasun Mukherjee told UNI, ''We are extremely proud at Sourav Ganguly's rare achievement. Two centuries-one his first at Eden and then his first double hundred- have been special for Sourav. It is special for us too.'' ''I not only congratulate him on behalf of CAB, but hope that he continues shinning with his willow for many more years. We are planning to felicitate him for this rare double,'' he said.

Meanwhile State Minister for Urban Development Ashok Mukherjee said, ''Maharaj has made West Bengal proud. We are planning of giving him a reception once he returned.'' East Bengal club has already announced its intention of honouring Sourav Ganguly for entering the 6000 runs club and his century at Eden. This is Ganguly's first back-to-back Test century after his debut at Lords, England a decade back.

Ever since his return to international cricket at Johannesburg in South Africa, Sourav has shown brilliant form slamming four centuries, including this double, at an average of 54.11 in 11 Tests and accumulating over 1000 runs. In the ODIs he has an average of 44,28with 12 half-centuries from 32 matches culling 1240 runs.

He had to wait for a decade to hit a maiden ton at Eden, but when he did so he entered the 6000 runs club along with the likes of Don Bradman.

Ganguly reached the milestone in the 98th Test accumulating 6016 runs at an average of 41.48 with 14 centuries to his name. Score of 102 and 46 in the two innings here was enough to get him to the landmark.

Earlier, completing a ton at his home ground was an incredible feeling more so when it's after a decade's wait in international cricket.

Ganguly said after the day's play at Eden Gardens, ''A burden is off my shoulders!'' It was the burden of plundering runs all around the world and coming up a cropper on his home ground. It was the burden of the love of his fans who stood to applaud his maiden hundred here, that he repaid at Eden.

After doing all that he had done, he has nothing much to prove.

But an elusive 200 remained to be achieved, which he completed in style steering India to safety.

UNI

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