Vijay Hazare Trophy: Bengal’s dismal showing to be reviewed

Bengal, the Ranji Trophy runner-up last season, could not progress beyond the group stage in two domestic events held this season.

Bengal exited the Vijay Hazare Trophy in the group stages.   -  Twitter @CabCricket

Following its state team’s dismal showing in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Bengal cricket is in soul-searching mode.

Bengal, the Ranji Trophy runner-up last season, could not progress beyond the group stage in two domestic events held this season. It finished second in its group in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after securing three wins in five matches. It managed to finish fifth in Elite Group E after winning just two of the five Vijay Hazare engagements.

In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Bengal’s top run-getter Abhimanyu Easwaran (219 runs) is 53rd in the National list, while the state’s top wicket-taker Shahbaz Ahmed (eight wickets) is 41. It speaks a lot about the side’s overall performance.

Bengal selection committee chairman Shubhomoy Das was disappointed. “We have not performed as a group. The players we banked on did not even perform 50 per cent up to their potential. The main nucleus of the team did not perform,” Das told Sportstar.

Meanwhile, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has decided to do an ‘in-depth post-mortem’ of the Vijay Hazare performance.

“It is absolutely important to find out the reasons for this kind of performance and address the issues,” CAB President Avishek Dalmiya said. 

“We are also chalking out a detailed plan to roll out Vision 2025 as a continuation of Vision 2020… This time the focus will also be on age group cricket and harnessing and developing young talent to create a robust supply line and strong bench strength.”

CAB secretary Snehashis Ganguly said, “The CAB has left no stone unturned to see that the players get enough pre-season practice…We need to analyse what is going wrong.”  

Bengal coach Arun Lal said, “A set of dos and don’ts will be given to the players on behavioural expectations and maintaining fitness standards ahead of the next season.”