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Kolkata: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday paid a sudden visit to legendary cricketer and BCCI president Saurav Ganguly’s Behala residence to wish him in his 49th birthday.

This is the first time that the Chief Minister met Ganguly at his residence where she stayed for about 45 minutes offering the former Team India captain a bouquet of flowers and meeting his wife, daughter and mother.

Though the Chief Minister has always shared a good and cordial relationship with the former southpaw batsman her visit gains importance on account of the fact that he also shares an excellent chemistry with Banerjee’s arch political rival and Union Home Minister Amit Shah the person who is understood to be the man behind his becoming the BCCI top boss.

While the ruling Trinamool Congress leadership refused to read much into Banerjee-Ganguly parley a senior party leader and a minister said, “when Didi (elder sister) meets Dada (elder brother) it must be and it should be special,” adding, “both Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress Government knows how to honour a star performer.” He also wondered whether there was any phone call or “any matching congratulatory words from the Centre.”

The flurry of greetings started with the one coming from his good friend and opening partner Sachin Tendulkar who wrote: “My beloved Dadi. Happy birthday. Wishing you a healthy and happy year ahead.”

Another legendary cricketer of his times Virendra Sehwag wrote “Few could match Dada ka Junoon, Dada ka Iraada . May you be in good health and spirits always Dada,” while his cricketing peer Mohammad Kaif tweeted, “When Dada led you on to the field, you somehow felt taller. Happy Birthday to the captain who patted your back when you did well and put a hand around your shoulder when you didn’t.”

Former India opener Wasim Jaffer too tweeted, “He took charge of Indian cricket in its darkest hour and led Indian cricket to a new dawn. Happy Birthday to the ultimate leader of men.”

The BCCI president had led India to the World Cup final in 2003, retired from international cricket in 2008, finishing as the best left-hand batsman and one of the most successful captains across Tests and ODIs for India. He had played 113 Tests and 311 ODIs for India, scoring more than 18,000 runs and scoring 39 hundreds.




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