Former India batsman VVS Laxman is set to continue as the batting consultant for Bengal team till March, next year.
Over the last few days, there were speculations that Laxman – who has been part of the Vision Project for the last few years – could be replaced by Wasim Jaffer, but multiple sources in the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) have told Sportstar that Laxman will continue till the end of the season.
Shukla to be named U-23 coach
The state unit has also appointed former India international Laxmi Ratan Shukla as the U-23 Bengal team coach for the upcoming domestic season.
While the CAB is expected to formally name him the coach soon, multiple sources have confirmed that the 40-year-old Shukla, who was previously a minister in the West Bengal government, has agreed to take up the new role.
Former India all-rounder Laxmi Ratan Shukla. – P. K. Ajith Kumar
A domestic cricket stalwart for Bengal, Shukla has also played three ODIs for India and after retiring in 2015, Shukla entered politics and was a minister of state, youth affairs and sports, until January this year.
“He (Shukla) has been one of the legends of Bengal cricket and if he takes charge, it will be a big boost to the state team,” a source aware of the development, said.
Shib Shankar Paul named bowling coach
While Shukla will take charge of the U-23 team, Arun Lal will continue as the head coach of the senior men’s team. There will be a couple of changes in the support staff. While Sourasish Lahiri will assist Lal, Shib Shankar Paul has been named the bowling coach, in place of Ranadeb Bose. Utpal Chatterjee would continue to be the spin bowling coach for all the Bengal squads.
Rituparna Roy would be the head coach of the women’s team, while Charanjit Singh would be the assistant coach of the Bengal senior women’s team. “On behalf of the association, I wish the former cricketers who have been given newer responsibilities all the best and am confident that they would be able to use their wealth of experience to help Bengal Cricket earn laurels in the forthcoming domestic season,” said CAB president Avishek Dalmiya.