| Sourav Ganguly and Arun Lal at the CAB, on Friday. A Telegraph picture |
Calcutta: Bengal cricketers refuse to learn. It might sound harsh, but the truth is after their leap into the final of the 2005-06 Ranji season, the state has almost taken a nosedive. They were relegated in 2007, fought their way back into the elite group in 2008, but they performed like also-rans in the next two years.
Bengal had a chance of making the Ranji quarter finals this year. But they were too patchy to qualify for the knockout stage.
It has been learnt that former India skipper Sourav Ganguly said, on Friday, that there has been no improvement in certain players in the past three years. He noted some senior players are making the same mistakes again and again and there has been no change in their approach whatsoever.
Sourav, who is the chairman of the CABs Cricket Development Committee, pointed out in a meeting Friday that lack of proper monitoring was a key reason behind the states poor performance at various levels. Bengal finished sixth in Ranji Elite Group, whereas the under-19 team was demoted to the plate group this year.
The Cricket Development Committee, which met at the Eden Gardens almost after a year, had a lengthy two-hour session with all members Arun Lal, Ashok Malhotra, Pranab Roy, Sujan Mukherjee, Biswarup Dey and president Jagmohan Dalmiya attending it.
Sourav, it is gathered, also questioned the late recruitment of newly-appointed coach Woorkeri Raman. He reasoned that the teams Ranji performance could have been better had Raman got more time with the players. The former India opener was appointed in September when he could have been roped in June for a lengthy stint with the senior players.
Sourav also suggested the need for specialised coaches at the grassroots level. He rued the lack of quality spinners in the senior team and said: There should be separate coaches for batting, bowling (fast and spin bowling) and fielding in the CABs cricket academy.
Sourav reportedly cited lack of temperament and poor endurance level as reasons behind the under-19 teams failure. He suggested that two-day matches in CAB tournaments be turned into four-day affairs to prepare them for the big events.
A four-day game allows both sides to bat again and bowlers, too, get a chance to bounce back, he said.
Like last year, he reiterated the need for a players pool from various age groups.
What Sourav meant is that the pool would comprise players from U-16, U-19, U-22 categories, including the senior players, who are constantly performing well for a good bench strength, said a member of the Cricket Development Committee.
Ashok Malhotra harped on the need for fair selection for the various state teams. Former Bengal and international cricketer Arun Lal felt the club and local league matches are played on smaller grounds and should be played on bigger turfs to test the fitness of players.
The suggestions from Fridays meeting, CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya, said would be presented to the working committee before being finalised for implementation.
Todays meeting was not confined to the players alone. It covered all areas as much as we could discuss in two hours time.
We discussed about the academy, age-group cricket amongst various other issues, Dalmiya said.