Ashok Dinda has been dropped from the Bengal squad for “misconduct” ahead of their Ranji Trophy match against Andhra starting on Wednesday.
The veteran medium pacer, who has 420 wickets from 116 first-class matches, “abused” the team’s bowling coach Ranadeb Bose after the pre-match practice session on Tuesday. The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), following a meeting in the evening, axed Dinda on disciplinary grounds.
“He (Dinda) abused Ranadeb Bose. The CAB secretary requested him to apologise but he didn’t. It was very unfortunate. It shouldn’t have happened. A senior player like him… we desperately needed him for this game. He was ideally suited for this pitch (a green surface) and our planning. I left a little early after practice today and when I reached home I got to know what happened. (Now) the entire planning is disturbed. Then again, the game goes on. Nobody is indispensable. Certainly I support the CAB’s decision,” Bengal coach Arun Lal told The Indian Express.
According to sources, Dinda laid into Bose after he saw the latter was having a “private conversation” with captain Abhimanyu Easwaran. Dinda took offence to a “private conversation” in the dressing-room. A CAB official, however, clarified that Bose and Easwaran were having a discussion with the team’s video analyst. Dinda was asked by the CAB to offer an unconditional apology, which he refused.
Dinda had earlier refused to join the Ranji Trophy preparatory camp after he was dropped for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Sources said he had fallen out with Lal and Bengal chief selector Palash Nandy as well. Also, Dinda and Bose reportedly had issues when they were Bengal team mates.
“He (Dinda) is not in the team and we don’t want to say anything further at this stage. It might lead to unnecessary talks, especially when Bengal are playing a match from tomorrow. So our entire focus is on the match and we don’t want any kind of distraction,” CAB secretary Avishek Dalmiya told this paper. He added: “We won our previous match (against Kerala). So at this stage we want to focus on the team’s performance.”
In Dinda’s absence, Bengal have decided to go ahead with a 15-member squad instead of 16.