Sourav Ganguly 'sacrificed' his place for me, says Virender Sehwag

Bengaluru, Oct 21: Former India opener Virender Sehwag has thanked his ex-captain and team-mate Sourav Ganguly for "sacrificing" his place for him in the One Day International team.

Full text of Sehwag's retirement statement

Sehwag, who retired from international cricket and Indian Premier League (IPL), said he was lucky to have opened the batting with "God of cricket" Sachin Tendulkar which was possible because of Ganguly's "sacrifice". (Could not have played with freedom in present team: Sehwag)

Sehwag in action during the ICC World Cup 2011 which India won

On his 37th birthday yesterday (October 20), Sehwag bid adieu to international cricket after a 14-year illustrious career with over 17,000 runs.

Sehwag thanked Ganguly for believing in him and said he could not have played Test cricket if not for the left-hander.

"I am the luckiest one I can say that. Because before me there were 2 partners - Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. They were opening in ODIs and doing great for India. They had a long partnership and had many 100-run (century) partnerships.

"Sourav Ganguly sacrificed his place and allowed me to open batting with Sachin Tendulkar. Because of this I am the luckiest one. Sourav had the love for me and maybe that is why he gave his place for me. Thank you very much Sourav Ganguly," Sehwag told "ANI" news agency in his post-retirement interview on Tuesday (October 20).

Sehwag also said that it was Zaheer Khan who suggested to Ganguly that he should open the batting in ODIs. "I was not the opener. Because of Mr. Zaheer Khan (I became opener). He told Sourav Ganguly to ask me to do the opening. Thanks to Zak and Sourav for the opportunity and making me use the powerplays," he said.

Stating that his Test debut was the most memorable cricket moment, Sehwag said, "I was considered to be a One Day batsman after seeing my style. But Sourav Ganguly saw a Test cricketer in me and backed me. He gave me an opportunity to play Tests and I will always be grateful to him for that."

The Delhi batsman also said Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman treated him like their younger brother and helped a lot.

OneIndia News

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