Manoj Tiwary, a minister of state who wants to regain custody of cricket

Cricket - Manoj Tiwary

Cricketer and politician: Manoj Tiwary, former international cricketer, at the government swearing-in ceremony of Mamata Banerjee last May.
Image credit: photo provided

Calcutta: Manoj Tiwary, the former Indian drummer and one of the best shooters in his state of Bengal, could have a “first” against his name when the national season kicks off later this year. Minister of State for Sports and Youth in the Mamata Banerjee 3.0 government, he could be the prime minister and politician actively playing first-class cricket for his state in the country.

Now 35, Tiwary – who became a member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) by winning the Shibpur constituency in the hotly contested parliamentary election, was named among the 39 probable by the Cricket Association of the Bengal (CAB). They’ve been asked to show up to a fitness camp at Eden Gardens starting Friday July 23, and Tiwary says he’s as excited as he was before a new season started over the course of his long career.

When I accepted Didi’s (Mamata Banerjee) offer a few months ago to join the political arena, I made it clear that I would like to continue playing because cricket is my passion. I feel like I still have five good years of cricket left, ” Tiwary said in a phone interview with Gulf News.

While the stabilizing influence of a middle-order senior drummer like Tiwary would be extremely welcome for state head coach Arun Lal, how difficult will it be for Tiwary to motivate himself – now that he has no chance of forcing in the national calculation? ” The motivation will not fail as my goal is high. I want to win the Ranji Trophy with the Bengal team – something I couldn’t do despite the three finals, ”said Tiwary, who had donned the colors of India in white ball cricket between 2008 and 2015 and is considered arguably the best drummer in the state in the post-Sourav Ganguly era.

A strong admirer of Kevin Pietersen’s style, Tiwary is often considered one of the luckiest cricketers as injuries have often put the brakes on his dreams of becoming big in the national colors – while he has often been overlooked. despite prolific races at the national level. .

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Manoj Tiwary (right) with Gautam Gambhir, former captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, during their stint with the IPL franchise.
Image Credit: PTI

Tiwary had a profitable 2019-20 season which saw him mark his first triple century at the Ranji Trophy and Bengal finished second in Cheteshwar Pujara’s Saurashtra in the final. When preparations began for a truncated national season earlier this year after the long and inactive lockdown phase due to the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tiwary suffered a ligament injury and was unable to be at his best during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He was selected for the subsequent 50-year-old Vijay Hazare Trophy – and the announcement of his departure for a new round in the political arena came soon after.

The state captaincy changed hands with the young Abhimanyu Easwaran who succeeded him during the 2019-2020 season. When asked if he would be comfortable playing under the guidance of a young captain, Tiwary said he would be available to share his experience in any way he can. “ I helped Abhimanyu as a senior player with bowling changes, field placements etc. and I will be available to do it again. However, I’m ready to rule the state again if the need arises, ” Tiwary offered a straight bat.

It’s now common for celebrities from other professions – but mostly from the entertainment world – to get into politics. However, the challenge of a professional sportsman can be more difficult because Tiwary is also a minister and can be trolled for the slightest negligence of the work in his own constituency? ” Over the past two months, I’ve built a core team that listened to people’s grievances and tried to do our best to provide solutions. I don’t see a problem if the will is there, ”he added.

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