Kolkata: Veteran India pacer Ashok Dinda has called himself a victim of politics after Bengal dropped him on disciplinary grounds midway into the Ranji Trophy last year but vowed to return stronger in the upcoming season with a new team. Second-highest wicket-taker for Bengal after Utpal Chatterjee, Dinda got himself into an ugly spat with bowling coach Ranadeb Bose, following which he was dropped. Putting the controversy behind, Bengal moved on and went on to finish runners-up in Ranji Trophy for the first time in 13 years.
Dinda revealed that he is already in talks with some of the teams and would soon apply for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Cricket Association of Bengal. “I will not be part of Bengal anymore, that’s for sure. It was a decision I had taken last season only. It’s my personal matter,” Dinda, who has 420 wickets from 116 first-class cricket, told PTI.
“You have seen what (actor) Sushant Singh Rajput had to go through… Sob jagay eki jinish — (favouritism, politics are everywhere). But I’m mentally strong and nobody can break me. I will play for some other state. I’ve got a few offers and discussions are on. But I’m yet to finalise which state I’m going to represent next season,” added Dinda, who represented India in 13 ODIs and nine T20Is.
Dinda was accused of publicly abusing Bose, a former Bengal medium-pacer with 317 first-class wickets in 91 matches. Dinda refused to tender an apology and was also accused of creating a rift within the team. “I’m not happy playing here with this group of the coaching staff. The way I was treated, I’ve nothing to say. I’ve done the job for them and now I’m of no use. It’s a selfish world,” he said.
After being sidelined, Dinda was spotted at Eden Gardens rooting for Bengal’s Ishan Porel, who formed a potent pace attack alongside Akash Deep and Mukesh Kumar. “I’ll definitely miss the home state, 100 per cent, having played for so many years. I also missed them last year. But I’m in good terms with my former teammates… (CAB president) Avishek is very friendly and good-hearted. At times, I also speak to Dadi (Sourav Ganguly),” Dinda signed off.