Lot still left in me, says ignored Ashok Dinda
Bengal playing a Ranji Trophy semi-final at Eden Gardens on a fairly green wicket without Ashok Dinda — simply said, that jars. But that’s reality.
A few incidents early in the season led to Dinda’s ouster from the Bengal side and since then, he has been ignored by the team which has performed superbly to reach the Ranji Trophy last-four stage.
However, even though he is no longer in the team, the senior pacer will be rooting for his Bengal mates. Not just that, Dinda also believes that the Abhimanyu Easwaran-captained side could go all the way to lift the trophy if they manage to get past the Karnataka challenge in the semis.
“I wish Team Bengal all the best. The guys are playing good cricket and just need to keep focusing on what they have been doing so far.
“If they beat Karnataka in this semi-final, I don’t see the Ranji Trophy going anywhere else. I am 100 per cent sure about that,” Dinda told The Telegraph on Friday.
“These guys haven’t paid attention to all the outside talk happening from the beginning of the season. They kept concentrating on their jobs. At the moment, they just need to make sure they don’t get over-excited because of the occasion.
“The team has been playing to its strengths, with the bowlers making good use of the conditions. Having said that, it’s not very easy to bowl on a green top.
“Nonetheless, I hope they will do well,” Dinda added.
Following his exit from the team, Dinda was certainly a disturbed man. He even refused to tender an apology which the Cricket Association of Bengal had sought from him. But at present, he has no complaints.
“It doesn’t really matter that I can’t be part of such an important game. I don’t harbour any hard feelings.
“I have had my moments in the last 14 years. Yes, it does take time to fill in someone’s shoes, but at some stage, you will definitely see someone new coming up. Ashok Dinda can’t keep on playing forever.”
Ruling out retirement, Dinda said that he wants to continue as a coach-cum-player next season. “I haven’t thought of retirement. I still have cricket left in me and I can still contribute. So I intend to play as a coach-cum-player (from next season onwards),” he signed off.