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Pride and passion inspire tonne-up duo


13th October 2017
It can be his 100th First Class match, but for Manoj Tiwary the excitement and determination is same as it was in the first match he played for Bengal. Also completing this milestone is Bengal's leading pacer and Tiwari's teammate Ashok Dinda.
Manoj Tiwary, who will lead the Bengal team against Chattisgarh at Raipur tomorrow, said: "Personally for me 100 is just a number. I will go out and play with the same intensity with which I began my career. It feels good to play 100 first class matches because it shows so many people have kept faith in my abilities. I am grateful to God and these friends and seniors for being by my side. This makes the game special. For me team ia always more important. So if we can go out and give our best it will be an occasion to celebrate."

Manoj, who has stacked up over 7000 runs against his name with 23 tonnes in first class cricket, expressed his gratitude to the Cricket Assocaition of Bengal office bearers, selectors and coaches for believing in his abilities. "When I was young I always wanted to play Ranji Trophy and for Bengal. So when I got a chance to do that I was so happy. Now thinking back it looks like a long journey and I am profoundly indebted to those who have been a part of this journey especially my parents, for their sacrifices, my brother for constant encouragement and my wife who is my biggest inspiration. I would also like to mention my coch Manabendra Ghosh without whose guidance i would not have achieved anything."
Manoj has gone on to represent India and also been one of the top players in the IPL. He has played 12 ODIs for India. He didnt forget his captains in Bengal team under whom he blossomed as a player. "I want to say my heartfelt thanks to all my captains beginning with Sourav Ganguly, Devang Gandhi, Rohan Gavaskar, Deep Dasgupta to Laxmi Ratan Shukla who guided me and helped me become a better cricketer and sportsman. I also thank my coaches and support staff who have been an integral part of this journey," Manoj said.

Meanwhile, the Cricket Association of Bengal has arranged for felicitation of Manoj Tiwary and Ashok Dinda both of whom complete this milestone together. CAB Jt Secy Avishek Dalmiya, who will be in Raipur tomorrow, said: "It is a special moment for both the players and CAB wants to be with them on this occasion. We will felicitate them with a plaque and a small token of appreciation and hope that they go on to play for India again. They have been of great service to the game playing with determination and integrity and on behalf of each and every one in CAB and their fans across the state, I wish them a very successful road ahead."

Ashok Dinda was spotted by Atal Dev Burman during a match at Naichanpur, about three hours from Kolkata. Dinda, who said he could not afford to stay back on Kolkata, was taken in by the coach and soon received a basic contract with Kalighat club and a stint with the Australian Institute of Sport. He made his first-class debut for Bengal in 2005, and impressed many with his consistent pace, generated from an exaggerated leap into his delivery stride. After 99 matches the hugely talented pacer has pocketed 354 wickets and continue to be the leading pacer for Bengal. He has alao played 13 ODIs for India.
Talking about the journey Ashok said: "When I started playling I never thought I will go on to play 100 first class matches. Its an emotional and nostalgic moment for me. I would like to thank everyone who stood by me and had faith in my abilities. Especially Atal Sir who has been my guide and mentor all these years."
"It is a great honour to lead Bengal's attack for all these years. Tomorrow, that way it is a special day when I get on to the ground. Thank you once again for being by my side," he said.
The Bengal teammates made it extra special for the duo presenting them with Rayban sunglasses and cutting a cake to commemorate the occasion. The duo will get a cheque on Rs one lakh each from CAB to mark the moment.


CAB MEDIA DESK
Arindam Basu