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Shukla mulls joining politics

Calcutta: Laxmi Ratan Shukla has always been the ideal team-man. Not just when he is the captain, the all-rounder has always stepped forward to rescue his team from difficult situations throughout his career.

One isn’t sure if it is this problem-solving knack which inspires him, but Shukla, on Tuesday, revealed that after his cricketing career ends, he would be interested in joining politics.

Shukla, who has led Bengal in the Ranji Trophy from the front this season, said that he wants to give something back to the people who have always wished for his well being.

“I still have three to four years of cricket left in me… I contemplate joining politics after that so that I can work for the common man… I want to give something back to all those who wished well for me,” Shukla said on the sidelines of a felicitation programme, organised by the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club, honouring him for making a century in Ranji Trophy appearances, on Tuesday.

Asked if has been approached by any political party, Shukla played a defensive shot, revealing very little. “Yes, I have been approached by a few, but it’s too early to talk or think about them. At this stage, it’s only cricket that matters to me … That’s it.”

The 32-year-old is also optimistic of making it to the Indian team once again. “I do have expectations of being selected for the India ODI and T20 squad for the New Zealand tour. In fact, I won’t be surprised if I make the cut. I’ve been performing well enough,” said Shukla, whose last India appearance was almost 14 years ago.

Speaking on Bengal’s crucial Ranji match against Tamil Nadu, beginning Monday, Shukla urged his team to play “forceful cricket”, which according to him, is the need of the hour.

He is also not ready to harp on Wriddhiman Saha and Mohammed Shami’s absence. “Honestly, I would want Wriddhi and Shami to be in the India camp rather than the Bengal dressing room,” said Shukla.