“Fab Four”, “Fantastic Four” or the “best quartet to play for Team India”; fans and pundits alike used to come up with their own superlatives to define the time when Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman used to share the cricket field.
It goes without saying that cricket remains the biggest sports, with the inception of Indian Premier League (IPL) making the sport even richer, but the time when the aforementioned quartet played, the love for the sport was unique. Test match used to sell out, with some of the games creating atmosphere better than even the T20 games. Indeed those were the different times.
You can be sure that when these once-in-a-generation players are mentioned, in any way, or anywhere, fans or even the players can get emotional.
Wisden India posted a still of the “fab four” on their social media, with all four side-by-side, captioning it “Name a more iconic quartet, we will wait”
Former India captain Saurav Ganguly, who is the current president of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), reacted to that iconic photo:
“Great time of life…enjoyed every bit of it.’
Ganguly is often seen as someone who saved Indian cricket from an apparent rut that it found itself mired in at the start of this century, with the match-fixing scandals and under-par performances forcing the fans turning their backs on the sport.
But Ganguly’s aggression was like a fresh breath of air, his no-nonsense approach changed players’ attitudes inside the dressing rooms. The Prince of Kolkata, together with Tendulkar, Dravid, and Laxman, as well as other players like Sehwag, Yuvraj and Zaheer, who were making their marks in the game at that time, laid the foundations for the current state of cricket in this country.