Indian news May 12, 2009

CAB ready to accept ICL players into Bengal fold

Cricinfo staff

The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has said it is ready to accept all Bengal players who had joined the ICL into its fold. Arun Mitra, the CAB joint-secretary, who met four of the seven ICL players from the Royal Bengal Tigers squad -- Deep Dasgupta, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Subhomoy Das and Eklak Ahmid -- in an hour-long meeting on Monday said the players were welcome to return but would need to follow certain procedures to exit the ICL.

In fact, the CAB may also offer Deep Dasgupta the post of captain-coach of Bengal if he severs all ties with the unofficial league. "We had a long chat. Deep has a great cricket brain. It will be great for Bengal if he comes back to the fold. He has served Bengal well in the past and we still need him," Mitra told the Telegraph, the Kolkata-based daily.

"We had a long discussion on various issues. We discussed the coaching issue. All these players are Bengal cricket's assets. Once they get the release from the ICL, they'll be up for selection for the Bengal squad."

Some of the ICL players said they needed to apply for a no-objection certificate from the ICL and once they get it they might make their next move to return to the domestic fold. However, Mitra said the return of those players did not necessarily mean that they would play for Bengal straight away. "All of them will have to perform well in the local league to qualify as probables for the state side," Mitra was quoted by the Hindu.

Dasgupta said he was keen to make a comeback as a Bengal cricketer and termed the talks as very fruitful. "I am honoured to be called for a meeting by the CAB. I believe I still have two to three years of cricket left in me. I'm fit enough to play any format of the game," Dasgupta said.

"We discussed many things. It would be good to play mainstream cricket again. But I'm still undecided. I have four days in hand to make up my mind. I'm also really passionate about coaching. But at this moment, I have to wait and think about my next move."

The three other Bengal players who joined in the ICL -- Rohan Gavaskar, Subhajit Paul and Shibsagar Singh -- were not present at the meeting.