Kolkata: Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman was retained as the batting consultant of Bengal, while Laxmi Ratan Shukla was appointed as Under-23 coach, marking his return to cricket six years after he joined politics.

It will be a second innings of sorts for the former Bengal skipper and allrounder Shukla, who had retired from all forms of cricket to join Trinamool Congress in 2016.

Shukla had become an MLA from Howrah (North) and later he served as the sports minister under Aroop Biswas.

Shukla was later made the Howrah district president of TMC but just before the last Assembly Polls he stepped down from the post and quit politics to “concentrate more on cricket”.

“Let’s work together. Looking forward,” the 40-year-old said about his return to cricket.

Making a series of announcements in the build-up to the season, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) also retained veteran Arun Lal as the chief coach, while promoting Sourasish Lahiri as the assistant coach of the senior side.

Former Bengal speedster Shib Shankar Paul was appointed as the bowling coach for all the Bengal squads.

“On behalf of the Association, I wish the Former Cricketers who have been given newer responsibilities all the best and am confident that they would be able to use their wealth of experience to help Bengal Cricket earn laurels in the forthcoming domestic season,” CAB president Avishek Dalmiya said in a statement.

In women’s cricket, Rituparna Roy would be the head coach while Charanjit Singh would be the assistant coach of the Bengal senior team.

“We have made some new appointments keeping in mind their merit and talents. We want Bengal cricket to shine and we have made changes that we deemed fit to that end,” said CAB Secretary Snehashis Ganguly.

“We wish the new appointees all the best and hope they can get the best out of the various Bengal teams.”