New Delhi: Parthiv Patel, who has just retired, called his first Test captain Sourav Ganguly a “hero in the true sense” with legendary Anil Kumble and said his impact on his life goes beyond the cricketing arena.
The 35-year-old, who retired on Wednesday after an 18-year career, won every possible tournament in Gujarat’s domestic cricket and said it was the right time to win three IPL trophies.
“I always keep Sourav Ganguly a true leader in his male management skills. Sourav and Anil Kumble were great leaders and they made me the kind of person I am,” Parthiv said during a virtual conversation with a select group of authors.

“There is still a test cap with my name wrongly printed on the ‘party’ that Dada gave me. The victories at Headingley (2002) and Adelaide (2003-04) and the opening innings at Rawalpindi are my favorite memories of the fifties.”
He said retirement has been on his mind for the past one year and the timing couldn’t be better.
“I was relieved by my decision and slept well. Although my family members were in tears, I pondered this one year and 18 years later, there is nothing else to achieve.
“I have won all the domestic tournaments, three IPL trophies and Gujarat cricket is in the right shape,” said Parthiv, the baby-faced.

Playing in the era of Mahendra Singh Dhoni was no easy task but Parthiv found inspiration in his love of the game and the vision of making a state like Gujarat a domestic heavyweight.
“There was a time when India went to New Zealand in 2009. I scored 800 in the Ranji Trophy and scored a century in the Duleep Trophy final and did not call. I thought maybe this is it.
They knew that their individual performances would be of little or no value unless they performed as a Gujarat team. It won the Ranji Trophy, Vijay Hazare and Mushtaq Ali Trophy under his captaincy, with players like Jaspreet Bumrah and Axar Patel making an immediate impact.
“My theory was simple. Earlier people were winning the Ranji Trophy a hundred times in district tournaments and I stopped it. If they bat for 100 balls, I’ll bat for 101 balls and if they take 50 catches I’ll take 51,” he said.
He acknowledged that in Indian cricket, there is a perception of picking up a keeper based on batting skills and abandoning one because of glove-work.
“I still believe in Test matches. Your best keeper is to play for India like Wriddhiman Saha. Yes, the skills vary according to form.
So what does a 17-year-old say if he plays for India in this day and age?
“I tell him to stay away from social media (Twitter and Instagram) as much as possible. I know that social media comes with IPL but young people need to spend more time with the biggest players around.”
“And yes, for 17-year-old Parthiv, I would have liked him to be more fitter. Skill-wise, he’s right, but yeah, cut those ice creams and french fries.”
When a newsman asked if he could talk to Dhoni, he replied with a laugh, “I was able to contact everyone I wanted.”

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