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Lahiri in, Shukla to lead

Calcutta: Sourasish Lahiri is the surprise inclusion in the 17-member Bengal squad for the East Zone-leg of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Sourasish, who has been in good form for Mohun Bagan, is likely to play as an opener.

“He has been included as an all-rounder. He is very good form. We, the selectors, watched him play quite a few matches this season,” Bengal chief selector Deep Dasgupta said on Friday.

Laxmi Ratan Shukla will lead the side since regular captain Manoj Tiwary is in the India A squad scheduled to play against the visiting Australian squad.

“Manoj was informed by the selectors that Laxmi will lead. He had no problem with that,” a CAB source said later.

“Shami Ahmed, who is in the Board President’s XI, also will not be available for the opning match against Odisha. But we have kept him in the squad,” the source added. Coach Woorkeri Raman was not present at the meeting.

Bengal first host Odisha on February 14 at the Eden Gardens and then play Jharkhand on 18th at the same venue.

Shib Shankar Paul, who played the last Ranji Trophy match against Railways, has not been included. “His name never came up for discussion,” a source revealed.

THE SQUAD

Laxmi Ratan Shukla (captain), Manoj Tiwary, Arindam Das, Wriddhiman Saha, Anustup Majumder, Sandipan Das, Vivek Singh, Sourasish Lahiri, Subhamoy Das, Debabrata Das, Alok Pratap Sharma, Shami Ahmed, Arnab Nandi, Ashok Dinda, Sourav Sarkar, Iresh Saxena, Veer Pratap Singh.