A Century Is Not Enough – Sourav Ganguly’s Frank Autobiography

I have vague memories of cricket: Sourav Ganguly celebrating the Natwest win in 2002, the drubbing in the 2003 cricket World Cup final, the 2006 ODI series drubbing in the West Indies, and the like. It was much later that my cricket memories got better. I could remember milestones better, maybe because I had grown up enough to retain enough. Sourav Ganguly was a part of cricket as I was growing up. Though I wasn’t as big of a cricket fan as many people I know, I still had my favorites. And unfortunately, Sourav Ganguly wasn’t one of them. I picked up his autobiography, A Century Is Not Enough, to know more about his life and to figure out if now, as an adult, I can change my view of him.

I had always thought of Sourav Ganguly as arrogant and overrated. But that’s probably according to his on-field persona. Introverted and shy off the field, aggressive on it – that’s Sourav Ganguly for you. It is only now that I think – Is being strong-headed and strong-willed in the game that bad? The answer lay in the pages of A Century Is Not Enough.

The first few pages are enough for Sourav Ganguly to make an impact. He is frank about how his cricketing career came to a grinding halt. And he maintains it throughout the book. The hurt is very, very clear for everyone to see. But through all the clarity of the hurt, he gives sometimes-preachy, mostly encouraging advice that everyone can benefit from. And ‘everyone’ encapsulates the non-cricketing population, too.

The frankness, however, is clipped in places. In these parts, I found the explanations and narration to be quite cryptic. In addition to this, Ganguly’s ideas seem all over the place, resulting in the narrative looking linear at some points and non-linear at others. It might seem difficult to make out what the actual order of events is, but keep going and it becomes easy to understand.

While the first half of A Century Is Not Enough helped identify with the cricketing great called Sourav Ganguly, I read on enough to glean that Sourav Ganguly has quite a high opinion of himself. It might be alright to say, ‘In this world, you need to,’ and all, but it doesn’t help over the course of 250 pages. There was a strong ‘I, Me, Myself’ vibe I got from his words, though I hate to say this.

However much it felt like this, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Sourav Ganguly has bared it all in A Century Is Not Enough. This, to the point where it angered me to even think of Greg Chappell. I cannot believe someone could be as conniving as that man. And Ganguly doesn’t even take his name. “For him to have faith in my abilities was like expecting mutton biryani in Somalia.”

I absolutely like the book even if sometimes I felt his narration to be a little arrogant. But maybe that’s my childhood bias speaking. Some things, you never grow out of.

Sourav Ganguly is a strong man and not one for revenge, though I wish he had. And this strength reflects in his words. I’d recommend this book, especially for those die-hard cricket fans who have grown up watching Sourav Ganguly. Read it, and you’ll know what resilience is all about.

Author(s): Sourav Ganguly
Publisher: Juggernaut
Release: February 2018
Genre: Non Fiction/Autobiography
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A former IT professional, Sonali gave up her cozy job to pursue her passion : writing. She is currently a freelance writer and an author. Her first novel 'Of Knights and Lillies' has released last year. She is working on her second work of fiction, a novel that revolves around travel and self discovery. Sonali's dream is to travel the world and write her own travelogues that will inspire travelholics. While she is not fantasizing about travelling the world and being a full time content writer and author, Sonali is also busy being a poet, booklover and reviewer, music lover and a full time grammar nerd!

One thought on “A Century Is Not Enough – Sourav Ganguly’s Frank Autobiography

  1. I love Dada totally.
    I saw only one match in Stadium so far that too a couple of days prior to his retirement as I just wanted to see my Hero up close and personal at least once in life. Still remember that moment when he came out to bat and turned to look at the sun 🙂 it was a breath-taking and heart stopping moment for me. Although he got out at 13 only that day but the memory is good enough to last life long for me for sure.
    He had (or may be has) a huge attitude which is a must in our part of the world and I am sure glimpses of it are evident in the book like you pointed out. My elder brother who too is a huge huge fan of Dada always called him “Prince” and told me 100 of times that “You will never see Dada ever serving water or anything to his team-mates ever” as that is way below his dignity level and I always kept an eye on it, even during IPL post his international retirement, so far the moment never came :). His golden days during the time of Jagmohan Dalmiya, we all have seen. This book is just the one side of the story, we really need to find if anyone else has written a book on Dada yet (read dared to).
    But no doubt, his performance, his persona and for me, he will always remain the most aggressive captain Indian cricket has ever seen and one of the most successful too, if the records were to be believed (only second to Dhoni I believe). But he will always remain my top two favorite from Indian cricket from my times and let me tell you the other position is filled by The Wall 🙂
    I need to get this book as that will make up for a perfect coffee table book at my household. Super thanks for the balanced review.

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