Bengal U-19 Cooch Behar winners look ahead

Sourav Ganguly, who is also the CAB president, reiterated the association’s commitment towards grooming young cricketers. "This association belongs to the players. Some players were in the Vision 2020 programme for the whole season. Without the system nothing will happen," he said.

Bengal U-19 players Kanishk Seth and Saurabh Singh after their match winning performance against Delhi in Cooch Behar Trophy final, in New Delhi on Sunday.   -  PTI

For Saurabh Singh, whose brilliant 196 helped Bengal beat Delhi to win the under-19 Cooch Behar Trophy title after 19 years, being the namesake of famous city mate and former India captain Sourav Ganguly is a huge encouragement. It also gives the youngster a sense of responsibility.

“The name gives me a nice feeling. He is such a great cricketer and an inspiration,” said Saurabh on the sidelines of a felicitation of the Bengal under-19 squad at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday.

“I have to work harder to make myself worthy enough to play at the elite level,” said Saurabh, who migrated from Lucknow six years ago to pursue his cricketing ambitions.

Saurabh thanked Bengal under-19 coach Pranab Nandi, who promoted him up the order to bat at No. 3 and helped him realise his potential. “I am thankful to sir. He was guided me well to achieve success,” said Saurabh.

Kanishk, who scored 91 to forge an important 90-run partnership for the seventh wicket, said Bengal had the wherewithal to tame Delhi at the Ferozeshah Kotla. “We had bowlers for every situation. That’s why we managed to restrict Delhi.”

According to Kanishk, making it to the next grade would be a challenge. “Now I will put in extra effort to make it to the Bengal squad. I do not think too far ahead.”

Test cricketer Pranab Roy said it was high time these young cricketers made it to the next level. “At least five or six of them should be there in the scheme of things for the Ranji Trophy. Two or three should be in the reckoning for India in the next couple of years.”

Former Bengal Ranji Trophy winning captain and ex-National selector Sambaran Banerjee said the boys had the potential to graduate to the higher level. “Some of them play in my club and I know all of them. They have got the talent but they have to work towards serving Bengal and India in future,” said Banerjee.

Ganguly, who is also the CAB president, reiterated the association’s commitment towards grooming young cricketers. “This association belongs to the players. Some players were in the Vision 2020 programme for the whole season. Without the system nothing will happen,” he said.