Veteran batter Manoj Tiwary was on Monday named in Bengal’s 21-member Ranji Trophy squad less than a year after he made his political debut for ruling Trinamool Congress party in the state.
The 36-year-old former Bengal captain, who is also a minister of state in sports and youth affairs in the Mamata Banerjee-led government, will gear up for his 17th year in first class cricket.
Tiwary, who last played for Bengal in their Ranji final against Saurashtra in March 2020, joined TMC ahead of the Assembly polls and won from Shibpur constituency beating BJP’s Rathin Chakraborty.
He missed the COVID-interrupted last season due to an injury but he’s back again in the Bengal side under Abhimanyu Easwaran.
Placed in Group B, along with Vidarbha, Rajasthan, Kerala, Haryana and Tripura, Bengal are slated to kick off their campaign against Tripura in Bengaluru from January 13.
Bengal’s preparation for the premier first class tournament has been hit with seven members including assistant coach testing COVID-19 positive on Sunday.
Sudip Chatterjee, Anustup Majumdar, Kazi Junaid Saifi, Geet Puri and Pradipta Pramanik, who are among the six players to have tested positive, have also been named in the 21-member squad.
Bengal are slated to face Prthivi Shaw-led Mumbai in a two-day warmup game at CC&FC on January 6-7 before leaving for Bengaluru.
Abhimanyu Easwaran (c), Manoj Tiwary, Sudip Chatterjee, Anustup Majumdar, Abhishek Raman, Sudip Gharami, Abishek Das, Writtick Chatterjee, Ritwik Roy Chowdhury, Abhishek Porel, Shahbaz Ahmed, Sayan Sekhar Mondal, Akash Deep, Ishan Porel, Mukesh Kumar, Kazi Junaid Saifi, Sakir Habib Gandhi, Pradipta Pramanik, Geet Puri, Nilakantha Das and Karan Lal.