Coaches speak ahead of inaugural Bengal T20 Challenge


Kolkata: The Bengal T20 league will roll out from the confines of the bio-bubble at Eden Gardens from November 24, the coaches of the six participating teams opened their mind on their team’s prospects and the tournament in general.

Earlier, the clubs: Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Tapan Memorial, Town, Kalighat and Customs had retained 42 players from their existing teams last year. Various marquee and non-marquee players have been selected for the tournament.

Mohun Bagan coach Sanjib Goyel said,” We have never thought that we would be able to return to the game this quickly in the midst of a pandemic. The way CAB has handled the situation and arranged this tournament is commendable.”

“Due to this pandemic everyone got affected in some way or the other but the players have prepared well even in this situation. With the CAB pre-season some players got the chance to get ready while others watched their fitness even while at home,” he added.

“We have two bowlers Akash Deep and Sayan Ghosh who attended this year’s IPL camps which have obviously boosted their confidence and experience,” Goyel said.

“Our new captain Anustup Majumder has been phenomenal with the bat last season for Bengal and having experienced campaigners like Manoj Tiwary, Debabrata Das is always a plus point. Also, Prince Yadav, Ankur Pal, Anurag Tiwary will be the ones to look out for.”

“With 12 matches to play in this tournament we will have to keep fitness of the players in mind and I think rotating and shuffling of the players in playing XI will come normally,” he further added.

East Bengal coach Shibsagar Singh said,” Every player is eager to play well in this tournaoment and very excited to get to the game. Players have kept themselves fit through fitness sessions at home even during this season.”

“This is a premiere tournament that is going to give huge opportunities. Before the start of the domestic season this tournament will give everyone a chance to showcase their talent,” he added.

“Everyone has to contribute for a team to be successful; it’s not about any individual player. We have a good mix of senior experienced players and young players. Among the young players Sujit Kumar Yadav, Akash Pandey along with experienced players like Arnab Nandi, Kanishk Seth make a good combination for us,” Singh further added.

Kalighat Club coach Satinder Singh said,” It is very good news for all the players that cricket is resuming after the pandemic situation. The team is very disciplined and prepared for the tournament. With Subham Chatterjee, Sudip Chatterjee, Pradipta Pramanik, Prinan Dutta, Aamir Gani, Jayojit Basu in the team we have a very good mixture of experience and youth in our team and that is the key for us.”

“This tournament is going to give a lot of opportunities to the players especially the young ones, the next generation will be looking up to these teams and Bengal cricket will benefit a lot. Hopefully new talents will come up from here,” Satinder added.

Customs coach Nilambar Saha said,”There’s no identity of a player without this game and I think this tournament is the biggest opportunity right now for them. Everyone is very excited and the best set of players from Bengal are going to play in this tournament.”

“This is a very young side which is a plus point for us and I believe Customs is also the best fielding side in this tournament. Shreyan Chakraborty, Sumanta Gupta, Prosenjit Das are all very good fielders and they are improving day by day,” he added.

“It is a very big opportunity for them and I believe it will give many talented players a boost in their careers. It will be very competitive as all the teams are very balanced,” Saha further added.

Town Club coach Kanchan Maity said, “Returning to the ground is the most important thing for any player in their life and obviously everyone is very happy and excited for that. Keeping all protocols and rules in mind we have prepared well and are eager to perform on the field.”

“For all the players this a good platform to showcase their talents and perform because this can open various opportunities for them in the near future. With the domestic season, IPL being close this is where a player needs to perform,” he added.

“We have some big hitters, quality bowlers in our team which is our strength. Having the likes of Ananta Saha, Aritra Chatterjee, Pankaj Shaw, Ayan Bhattacharjee and youngsters Kazi Junaid Saifi, Sudip Gharami, Golam Mustafa makes us a good mixture of experience and youth,” Maity further stated.

Tapan Memorial coach Avishek Barman said,” Players are excited to get back to the ground. Cricket is their life. Thanks to CAB for taking this initiative.”

“Our team is very balanced and having Shahbaz Ahamad who just came back from IPL as a captain gives us a boost. We will benefit from his experience and current good form. We are a balanced side with good middle order batters and quality all-rounders,” he added.

“Having good all-rounders always benefits a team and Sumit Mohanta, Gaurav Chauhan will strengthen us in that department. Shakir Habib Gandhi, Debapratim Halder, Abhishek Porel, Sourav Chanda will be the ones to look out for,” Barman further expressed.