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Malhotra says sorry to fans

Indore: Some players were still left to board the Bengal team bus, but one could find coach Ashok Malhotra nestled quietly in the seat beside the door.

Captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla had already excused himself from the post-match media interaction. It was understandable after Bengal had a really hard day in office. Would Malhotra speak? No one was sure.

After initially being reluctant, the former India player finally decided to come down and express his views on the second day’s play of the Bengal-Maharashtra Ranji Trophy semi-final tie. And once he started speaking, one understood why he wanted to avoid speaking.

“I’m speechless… There’s nothing really to say. It was a nightmarish day today,” Malhotra said. “We have been facing tough situations all through this season… But on all previous occasions, we were able to stage a comeback… We couldn’t do that today,” he added.

One usually finds Malhotra sporting a smile, but on Sunday he looked tired. “It’s a little embarrassing, the situation we are in after coming this far… I would like to say sorry to the fans… They have been supporting us so passionately, but we haven’t played well in this game.

“But let’s be optimistic… There are still three more days to go... It will be a tough test for us from hereon and we will find how good our batsmen are as they try to wipe out the huge deficit,” Malhotra said.