Ganguly to play in Bengal's Ranji Trophy opener against Gujarat

Sourav Ganguly has agreed to play for the entire Ranji season for Bengal Getty Images

Kolkata: Nov 2, 2011

Retired India skipper Sourav Ganguly would look to revive the glorious past of Bengal when they begin their Ranji Trophy Super League campaign at home against Gujarat on Thursday.

Known to be the face of East Zone, Bengal’s record at the Ranji Trophy has been pathetic in the last few seasons.

The two-time Ranji winners reached the final way back in 2006-07 under coach Paras Mhambrey, but after his exit that co-incided with a few in-form players’ exodus to the rebel Indian Cricket League, Bengal lost in transition.

There had been experiment with coaches (Bharat Arun, Mohinder Amarnath) and captains alike at the top, but Bengal struggled to hit a purple patch at the highest level of domestic cricket, something that has been tormenting the cricket bosses of this zone.

Last season was no different.

Bengal finished a disappointing sixth in their group with 12 points from seven matches that saw them concede a first innings lead to lowly Assam.

Winning the domestic Twenty20 tournament for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was the only solace for Bengal who have set a high goal under coach and former India left-hander W V Raman this time.

Inconsistency in batting had been Bengal’s main let-down and the hosts will look to start well against the Parthiv Patel-led side.

Ganguly contributed little to Bengal’s cause in his two match appearances, scoring just 20 runs and it remains to be seen how the state benefits from the 39-year-old retired India batsman, even as his inspirational presence is sure to motivate Manoj Tiwary and Co in the dressing room. (PTI)