Bengal Cricket has never been the dominant force as far as Indian Domestic Tournaments are concerned.It has had only two Ranji Trophy victories and has been runner up a total of 11 times.Besides this ,they are the champions of the 2012 Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Only 1 out of the current Bengal Squad are representing the country i.e fast bowler Mohammed Shami.This speaks volumes about how Bengal’s supply line has been towards building the Indian squad.Mohammed Shami made his ODI debut for India vs Pakistan in Delhi 2013 and his Test debut came in Sachin’s 199th test at Kolkata.Excluding him there are the likes of Manoj Tiwary,Wriddhiman Saha and Ashoke Dinda who have made in-and-out of the Indian Team repeatedly.
Coming to Bengal’s Ranji Trophy performance this year,they have been knocked out in the semi-finals by Maharashtra.Bengal’s Highest Run-getter being veteran Captain All-Rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla scoring 608 runs and taking 12 wickets in 9 matches.Second in the list of run-getters in Wicket-Keeper Wriddhiman Saha with 592 runs from 6 matches.Third is Arindam Das with 524 runs from 8 matches.Ashoke Dinda was the torch bearer in the bowling department with 40 wickets in 9 matches.Bengal missed the services of Mohammed Shami who was out on national duty and senior batsmen Manoj Tiwary who was out with an Injury.
In this years Vijay Hazare Trophy ,Bengal reached the semis and One Day cricket has always been the high point of Bengal cricket.
The cause of concern for Bengal Cricket is the absence of quality youngsters who could share some to the Teams responsibility along with the Seniors Laxmi and Co.The likes of Sreevats Goswami,who was a part of the U-19 winning team captained by Virat Kohli also have played in the IPL has enough experience of succeding in domestic Cricket.
So to make Bengal a force to reckon with in Domestic Circuit former Indian Skipper and local hero Sourav Ganguly,who is also the coaching committee chairman of CAB came up with an idea that could help young bengal cricketers to make it big in the future.Pakistani fast bowling legend Waqar Younis and Srilankan spin Legend Muttiah Muralidharan are appointed as bowling consultants for CAB’s coaching programme beginning March 15th,for a three year contract.
The iconic duo will spend atleast 30 days with a pool of Bengal youngsters for a development programme aimed at creating supply line for the senior team.Their contract is believed to be 60 lakh Per Person.
In the 1st phase of the programme Younis and Murali will coach 200 players to be hand-picked from CAB affiliated Clubs and the training will also include senior Bengal players if available.94 clubs will nominate 1 pacer and 1 spinner making it a total of 188,while the remaining 12 will be U-19 players from Second Division Clubs.
Younis and Murali will be assisted by Ranadeb Bose as assistant coach in the pace department,while the CAB is yet to finalise the assistant of Spin Department.Ganguly himself is the chief consultant of the Batting Pool.
Resurgence of Bengal Cricket? Only Time will Tell.