Kochi:Sourav Ganguly beat some of the biggest names in Indian cricket when he was named 'Best Captain' in 75 years of Test cricket at the 10th Castrol Awards for Cricketing Excellence in Kochi.
A wonderful evening in the backwaters of 'God's Own Country' on Tuesday honoured eleven former captains for their service to the game.
Besides Ganguly, late CK Nayudu, late Vinoo Mankad, Nari Contractor, Chandu Borde, Ajit Wadekar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Viswanath, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid were the skippers especially chosen for the recognition.
Nayudu's daughter Chandra and Mankad's son Atul received the awards on behalf of their illustrious fathers.
The gala night had anecdotes flowing like champagne from the former stars.
Much to the amusement of those in attendance, Ganguly, known for carrying plenty of bats on tour, quipped: "If you carry one bat now, then you might be dropped from the side for the next match due to lack of commitment."
Former captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, who revolutionised Indian cricket and instilled a winning habit, received the award for the 1961-71 era.
'Tiger', as Pataudi is commonly known, couldn't make it to the awards gala, but in a recorded message congratulated the Twenty20 world champions.
It was a perfect opportunity to also get someone like Sachin Tendulkar to talk about his favourite winning moments in the last decade or so.
"I think the Test series win abroad (his favourite moment) which I always wanted to achieve. This time we beat England in England, though last time I couldn't go to West Indies and I spoke to all of them. I told them this was my dream and I always wanted to be there," said Sachin Tendulkar.
"We beat Australia in Adelaide and in Johannesburg we beat South Africa, so those victories for sure and the one in Trinidad vs the West Indies (are the best moments)," Sachin.
Members of the young brigade, which won the Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa, were also there and left completely in awe of the legends present on the occasion, especially their anecdotes on the great West Indian pace battery of the 60s and 70s.
"We never used to hit the ball. Our bat was still, the ball used to come, hit the bat and go to the boundary," said Chandu Borde, Former Captain, Indian Cricket Team.
The cricketers didn't spare their coaches either, especially the ones who were hard task masters.
"We definitely had one coach of Indian cricket team who would do that. He is sitting right here - Bishen Singh Bedi. Sidhu was the one who was all the time in the air, trying to hit sixes off spinners and he had to run six runs. So, finally he had given up lofting the ball," said the Bombay Bomber.
Australian player also graced the occasion.
Amid all the celebration, there was no mention of Mohammed Azharuddin, under whose leadership India enjoyed a fair degree of success. (With IANS inputs)