Cricketer-turned-politician Manoj Tiwary seemed to be juggling between cricket and politics. While the cricketer has withdrawn his name from the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he is keeping an eye on his schedule and the forthcoming Ranji Trophy season.
Manoj Tiwary, who is also Bengal Sports Minister, joined the training camp to prepare ahead of the season. Despite being involved in the training camp under the watchful eyes of former India captain VVS Laxman, he has finally decided to pull out from the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy primarily due to two reasons.
Question marks persist over his fitness as he suffered a knee injury in the previous season and has yet to fully recover from it. The other reason is that he wants a younger player to replace him in the squad for the shortest format. This will give him more time to regain full fitness and be more in tune with the workload ahead of the Ranji Trophy season.
The West Bengal team management has backed Manoj Tiwary’s decision. As per the team’s assistant coach Saurashis Lahiri, “Getting Manoj’s services will always benefit Bengali cricket. However, since Manoj himself has decided not to play in the T20, I respect his decision. A cricketer understands his fitness the best and Manoj has made that decision with his fitness in mind.
Lahiri added that he hopes Tiwary will be available for the other two tournaments once he recovers fully. “The Bengal cricket team still has a lot to benefit from a player like Manoj Tiwary when he participates in the Ranji Trophy. His experience will always be important to the side. "
Former India batsman VVS Laxman was also present at the seven-day camp that ended last Saturday. The Challengers Trophy, this time, will take place between Bengal senior, under-23 and under-19 cricketers. The names of six teams and coaches and captains have already been finalized.