Calcutta: With youngsters failing to grab opportunities coming their way, veteran all-rounder Sanjib Sanyal was brought back to the Bengal squad for the zonal leg of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Apart from Sanjib, all-rounder Arnab Nandi, Abhishek Das and Pankaj Shaw have also been drafted into the side, as Sreevats Goswami, Debabrata Das, B. Amit and Jayojit Basu are all dropped for non-performance from the 16-member squad announced on Friday.
No wonder Sanjib has fared well in club cricket this season and deserves to be in the squad. But one cannot overlook the fact that listless showings from the present lot of juniors has forced the selectors to include the 36-year-old in the 16-member squad.
“Sanjib is playing well lately. At the same time, there was lack of options, as the junior players haven’t been performing up to the mark, which is not a good sign for Bengal cricket,” CAB joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee said.
Sanjib’s inclusion, though, certainly boosts Bengal’s all-round options. “Sanjib had done well in the previous edition too. Look, you are in the side only if you play. If you can’t, you will be chucked out and won’t be considered thereafter… It’s simple,” captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla made it clear.
With Shukla, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Ashok Dinda and Veer Pratap Singh unavailable at the knockout stage of the competition due to commitments with their respective IPL franchises, selectors are hopeful that the remaining members of the squad will be able to gel well and deliver.
“This is also a reason why we have selected 11 players who aren’t associated with the IPL,” said Bengal chairman of selectors Deep Dasgupta.
Bengal begin their zonal leg campaign on April 1, against Assam, at the Eden.
Laxmi Ratan Shukla (captain), Wriddhiman Saha, Sudip Chatterjee, Manoj Tiwary, Sourashish Lahiri, Sandipan Das, Vivek Singh, Sanjib Sanyal, Arnab Nandi, Pankaj Shaw, Iresh Saxena, Ashok Dinda, Veer Pratap Singh, Amir Gani, Pritam Chakraborty, Abhishek Das