Kolkata: All-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla on Thursday made Bengal skipper for the Ranji Trophy with regular captain Manoj Tiwary ruled out for six weeks for a back injury. The selectors were forced to appoint the 31-year-old in the hot seat as vice-captain Wriddhiman Saha refused to take up the "additional responsibility".
"I don't enjoy captaincy," Saha told reporters on Thursday. Having lost three matches, Bengal's quarterfinal hopes are all but over and they would now fight it out to save relegation to group B. Tiwary retired hurt after a muscle tear during their away match against Saurashtra who registered a huge 270-run victory in the last fixture.
Bengal's squad is already depleted with pacer Ashok Dinda doing national duty in the ongoing Test against England. Bengal face Hyderabad (from Saturday) and Railways (December 29-January 1), both at home, in their remaining group A fixtures.
Earlier, the CAB President Jagmohan Dalmiya met coach W V Raman alongwith Chairman of selection committee Deep Dasgupta to discuss about Bengal's spineless show this season. The association backed the coach.
"It's easy to blame the coach. But the fact is our batsmen did not apply themselves. Let's not forget that he has given us two titles (one-day and T20)," CAB joint-secretary Sujan Mukherjee said.
Laxmi Ratan Shukla (c), Rohan Banerjee, Arindam Das, Debabrata Das, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Mohammad Shami Ahmed, Iresh Saxena, Sourav Sarkar, Veer Pratap Singh, Arnab Nandi, Anustup Majumder and Subhomoy Das.