India discard Pragyan Ojha was on Tuesday left out of Bengal’s squad for Ranji Trophy, despite not being released by Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) to play for Hyderabad.
Having played two seasons with Bengal, Ojha’s NOC request to return to his home state was declined by CAB president Sourav Ganguly who had said they needed “his service“.
Apparently upset with the decision, Ojha did not turn up for pre-season practice and had been incommunicado since then as the Bengal selectors opted for a 16-member squad to be led by Manoj Tiwary for their first two Ranji matches.
Bengal will take on Services from October 6-9 at Palam, New Delhi, before facing Chhattisgarh from October 14-17 at Raipur. “His name was not discussed, as we don’t know about his whereabouts,” CAB joint secretary Avishek Dalmiya said.
It means Ojha will not be able to play domestic cricket this season putting his first class career in jeopardy. Bengal has picked uncapped left-arm spinner Pradipta Pramanik, who has impressed with one four-wicket and another three-wicket haul in two warm-up games in Surat.
“Pradipta has been doing very well and the squad is equipped in all departments to do well,” Dalmiya, who attended the meeting with selectors Arup Bhattacharya, Madan Ghosh and Kalyan Chowdhury, said.
Bengal has also brought in a second left-arm spinner in Anurag Tiwary who’s currently with U-23 squad. “Both are ready and good enough to play for Bengal,” Avishek added.
Talking about Ojha, selector Bhattacharyya said: “We are in dark about Pragyan. We do not know whether he is training or not and what condition he is now. We have not been able to establish contact with him.”
Ojha did not receive any call but remained active on his official Twitter handle posting a congratulatory message on September 22, to Kuldeep Yadav for his hattrick in the second ODI vs Australia in Kolkata.
The squad: Manoj Tiwary (c), Sudip Chatterjee (vc), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shreevats Goswami, Anustup Majumder, Abhishek Raman, Koushik Ghosh, Aamir Gani, Pradipta Pramanik, Ashok Dinda, Sayan Ghosh, Mukesh Kumar, Kanishk Seth, B Amit and Writtick Chatterjee.
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