After stepping down as Bengal’s head coach, Arun Lal looked back on his stint with pride and rated the state team as one of the top five teams in the country.
Lal, who served as a mentor in the 2018-19 season before taking over as head coach the following season, led Bengal to the Ranji Trophy final (against Saurashtra) and semifinals (where they lost in 2019-20 after 13 years. In 2021-22 to eventual champions Madhya Pradesh. (The 2020-21 Ranji Trophy was not held due to the pandemic .)
Lal said he will miss the Bengal players. “It was a painful and tough decision. I thought about it a lot. For nine months of the year you are fully occupied 24×7…I am tired. It is a tough job, domestic coaching is tough because the teams are evenly matched across the board,” Lal said. The Hindu On Wednesday.
Lal, who painted India and was part of the 1989-90 Ranji Trophy-winning Bengal team, showered praise on the current players.
“I’m very happy. The boys have shown great commitment, work ethic and desire and performed very well.
“If we look at the domestic circuit, out of the four semifinalists last year (2019-20), only one team qualified for the semifinals and that was Bengal. The previous season’s winner (Saurashtra) also did not qualify. The two teams that played in the final this year (Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai) did not qualify the previous year.
“Even if we don’t have a trophy, Bengal is in the top five in all formats. We played some excellent white ball cricket. Most of the work is done. If they win the trophy, I will celebrate with them.
Lal hoped that Bengal would perform better in the coming days. “We can continue from here. We have some good youngsters in the white ball format. Unfortunately, we don’t get much in the red ball format. But the entire country including the Indian team is struggling in the red ball format,” Lal said.
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