CAB felicitates Manoj Tiwari with golden bat as he bids cricket goodbye

February 18, 2024
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The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) felicitated Bengal captain Manoj Tiwari for piling up a stupendous 10,000-plus runs in First-class cricket

Kolkata, Feb 19 (IANS) The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) on Sunday felicitated Bengal captain Manoj Tiwari for piling up a stupendous 10,000-plus runs in First-class cricket on a day when he retired from all forms of cricket. Tiwari was presented with a golden bat and ball memento by CAB President Snehasish Ganguly as the majestic Eden Gardens bid adieu to one of its favourite sons.

Speaking on the occasion, CAB President Snehasish Ganguly said, “I laud Manoj for the runs he has piled up in a career spanning two decades. Not only has he shored up 10,000 runs in First-class cricket, but another 5000 in List-A matches. The longevity of his career defines his fitness, dedication and passion for the game. “He was hungry to give Bengal another Ranji Trophy and that motivated him to continue in these final years. I know he deserved to play longer for India. But we often do not get what we deserve. You will be remembered as one of the finest cricketers of Bengal and this country. We wish you the very best for your future,” he said.

Manoj Tiwary got emotional while responding to the facilitation. “I miss my father today who passed away in 2017. My mother and my wife have been my motivation. They complete me.”

Tiwari said he was greatly inspired by Sourav Ganguly and that he was the motivation behind his chasing the Indian dream. “Dadi was this young fair left-hander when I first came to Eden Gardens. I thought this is really the Prince of Kolkata and I need to play like him.”

He thanked all his teammates, seniors, and association seniors especially Jagmohan Dalmiya, Sourav Ganguly, Avishek Dalmiya and Snehasish Ganguly for backing him at various stages of his career.

“The runs I have accumulated were only possible because of the contributions of a lot of people beginning with my seniors and ending with the groundmen. There was a point of time in my career when I went through a really dark phase. I was waiting to get a call-up and that never came.

“I became so depressed that at one point I thought the only exercise I needed to do was how to squat and then run with bottles to the ground. But that is all in the past now. I am so happy to retire in my favourite ground among my peers, friends and seniors who have loved me all my life. My only regret will be not winning the Ranji Trophy for Bengal. I really wanted it for my state,” Manoj said trying to control his tears.

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly said, “Manoj you will be remembered in golden letters in the annals of Bengal cricket. You have been a very talented cricketer. But there is a saying being at the right place at the right time.

“It may not have worked for you, but you gave your best years to Bengal cricket and as long as cricket is played here you will remain one of the favourite sons of the soil. You are a motivation for generations to come and play for Bengal. Having played with you I know your passion and dedication, and I hope the youngsters emulate your achievements,” Sourav said.

Former CAB President Avishek Dalmiya said, “Manoj you and I have been friends. We have talked over issues both on and off the ground in person and over long conversations on the phone. And in every conversation, it was your passion and devotion towards cricket that was evident. Your commitment to the game and love for Bengal is unparalleled and you should remain associated with cricket in some form, as you still have a lot to give.”

Bengal’s Chief Selector Subhomoy Das lauded Manoj for his achievements and said that he had taught him how to play aggressive cricket. As he went down memory lane, Das said he was proud to have shared the dressing room with him.

Bengal Coach L R Shukla said that Manoj and him were very close both on and off the ground and as a captain he believed in Manoj’s abilities and his lion heart. “In these last two years, Manoj Tiwari carried a bad leg. But it is his passion and lion-heart that made him continue and lead by example. Another thing that egged him on was his undying thirst to win the Ranji Trophy,” Shukla said.

Video messages were also sent by his senior teammates Deep Dasgupta and Rohan Gavaskar, former India teammate Harbhajan Singh, coaches Sairaj Bahutule and W.V Raman and his Bengal squad member Md Shami.

–IANS/bsk/

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