Generally the politicians are barred from taking any official post in the BCCI since the time the Lodha Committee recommendations have come into effect, but no such provision is there about the players and what has come as a big surprise for the Indian fans is that Manoj Tiwary, the sports minister of Bengal and a TMC politician, has been named in the Ranji trophy squad of Bengal for the upcoming season.
Although Manoj Tiwary hadn’t announced his retirement from professional cricket at any stage, it was expected that he would perhaps keep himself away from the game after becoming a member of Bengal’s legislative assembly and being given the charge of ministry of sports as well. That’s too much of a commitment for a politician to find time for professional cricket after that, but Tiwary has found time for the Ranji trophy this season.
It has probably happened for the first time in the history of Indian cricket that a sitting MLA from a state is going to represent the state in Ranji Trophy cricket. Manoj Tiwary has been a stalwart of Bengal cricket for quite some time and has scored heaps of runs for Bengal in the Ranji trophy in the past. The classy right-hander has even represented India in international cricket and has won the IPL as well, with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Bengal will expect a lot of runs from Manoj Tiwary in the upcoming Ranji season
Although Tiwary has been away from the game for a while because of his political commitments and doesn’t have a lot of matches practise under his belt coming into the upcoming Ranji trophy, the years of experience that he has gained playing in the domestic circuit might help him find his rhythm straight away. Bengal will expect a lot of runs off his bat again, given his experience and class.
Bengal has done well in Ranji trophy in the recent years since Arun Lal took over as coach, but the tournament is taking place after a gap of two years because of COVID and BCCI would hope it goes uninterrupted, as the cases in India are rising again and a third COVID-19 wave seems to be on the horizon.
There were reports that BCCI might consider postponing the Ranji trophy again because of a possible third wave of COVID-19, but the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, a couple of days ago, confirmed that the tournament won’t be postponed and will go ahead as scheduled.