In 1996, I sat above the sightscreens at Lord's and watched Saurav Ganguly stroke a silken century on debut. He looked a class act with the bat, though even then was obviously never going to be a Dravid. Over the years, he has done a lot of great things for India, with the bat, and with his unique style of leadership. As a captain he was India's equivalent of AB, much as Rahul Dravid is now playing Mark Taylor.
Unfortunately, a couple of years ago, he went past his sell-by date. He could have gone out in a blaze of glory, as was perhaps befitting, but to do so would not have been in keeping with the nature of the man. A stubborn fighter to the core, he banked on his fabled resilience and sheer determination to carry him through. Sadly, his body and technique have proven to no longer be up to the task. Not in the way they were in his prime.
The end result - he now exits quietly stage left, his departure as ignominious as his arrival was specatular. He can only hope that he is remembered for the backbone he brought to the Indian team, rather than for the yawning chasm between his legs through which one final boundary crept against Sri Lanka last night.
Some will say that I have written the epitaph a little too early. For Ganguly's own sake, I hope not.