Manoj Tiwary appointed Bengal captain

Kolkata: Veteran batsman Manoj Tiwary was appointed as the new Bengal captain for the Ranji Trophy opener against Karnataka by the senior selection committee here on Thursday.

Laxmi Ratan Shukla who had been leading the side for quite sometime now wanted to step down from captaincy a few days ago and he had made his wishes known to the selectors via text messages.

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His decision to quit came after reports of a friction in the team during their pre-season tour in Sri Lanka.

Tiwary and selection committee chairman Raju Mukherjee, however said everything was just fine within the outfit.

“We are a happy family now. We are looking forward to your support,” Mukherjee said.

Speaking on the issue, Tiwary said: “There won’t be any more (controversies). The coach (Sairaj Bahatule) and I will hopefully handle the issue.”

The new faces in the 15-member squad that was announced are that of Aamir Ghani, right-arm fast bowler Mukesh Kumar and batsman Pankaj Shaw. It will be interesting to see how left-arm off spinner Pragyan Ojha performs for the team in his first season for Bengal.

However, there was no place for veteran offspinner Saurashish Lahiri in the squad.

The 15-member squad: Manoj Tiwary (captain), Naved Ahmed, Sreevats Goswami, Sudip Chatterjee, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Pankaj Shaw, Ashok Dinda, Veer Pratap Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Sourav Sarkar, Partha Sarathi Bhattacharjee, Aamir Gani, Abhishek Das.