Deep Biplab Dasgupta
June 07, 1977, Calcutta (now Kolkata), Bengal
Right hand bat
Born in Kolkata, Deep Das Gupta learnt a lot of his cricket in Delhi. As a youngster, the Bengal stumper was a keen gymnast and took to cricket quite late. National Institute of Sport coach Suneeta Sharma noticed Das Gupta's keen interest in the game and put him on to Dronacharya Gursharan Singh. Under the able guidance of Sharma and Gursharan, Dasgupta made it to the Delhi Under-16 team. But he was due for bigger honours in his home state. Das Gupta began his career as a specialist opening batsman and did remarkably well for himself, striking a century on first class debut against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy Super League in 1998-99.
Following that, Dasgupta could not find a permanent slot in the Bengal team. Donning the gloves, Dasgupta had to wait patiently till Saba Karim retired before assuming his place behind the stumps. In the 2000-2001 season, Dasgupta managed to impress with the number of victims he snared - 13 in three games - and by scoring 190 runs at an average of 38. With just three first class games under his belt, Dasgupta was selected as one of the probables for the camp to select the Indian team for Zimbabwe but did not make it to the final squad. Sameer Dighe's disappointing showing in the twin series in Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka paved the way for Dasgupta's selection to the national team for South Africa. After disappointing in the one-dayers, the young man, who got his chance in the Tests at the eleventh moment after an injury to the recalled Dighe, showed the temperament and eagerness necessary to do well on the international stage. He played a big role in helping India save the second Test in his role as the opener. Dasgupta has also improved as a 'keeper. There is no doubting the man's commitment - looks like he might soon be a permanent feature.
Dasgupta surprised many when he broke away from his state side and joined the unofficial Indian Cricket League in 2007. He represented the Kolkata Tigers - rechristened the Royal Bengal Tigers in 2008. Dasgupta broke ties with the rebel league and was granted amnesty by the BCCI in 2009, a move which could see him return to Ranji Trophy duties.
Cricinfo staff June 2009
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