Bengal U23 coach Laxmi Ratan Shukla, on Monday, began the men’s fitness camp with 60 cricketers and put in place a strict regimen that included instruction of staying away from social media and chopping off the long hairs.
“I have told the boys not to post anything on social media. They have to maintain decorum and discipline. Those with long hair will need to pay a visit to the saloons immediately. Thirdly they will have to learn Bengali for team bonding,” said Shukla, post a rigorous training session that lasted for over four hours.
“Improvement for Bengal Cricket means progress for the Bengal players. The supply line from junior to senior team is very important and that’s why I have chosen to work with the junior cricketers. I want to see more cricketers coming up from the districts for both boys and girls. CAB is very serious about the district games as well as the club games and the association is doing everything they can for the progress. Now we have to recognize the talents from the districts, keep our eyes open for young talents from every corner of the state,” Shukla was quoted as saying in a statement released by CAB.
When asked if there was any process for success, he said: “Even when I used to play I never believed in the process much. I have seen Sourav Ganguly play and never felt like he had any kind of fixed process.”
“You must have planning in your head but planning can’t get you a hundred or help you take five wickets. What’s important is effort and I will make sure during the sessions that the players are giving efforts, the result will follow. I am not a coach, I am guide, a helper who is here to help the players and to see more Bengal players in the national team is a wish I have as a cricketer.”
A domestic cricket stalwart for Bengal, Shukla had joined Trinamool Congress in 2016 and was a minister of state, youth affairs and sports until January this year.
Shukla was later made the Howrah district president of TMC but just before the last Assembly Polls he stepped down from the post and quit politics to “concentrate more on cricket” as he returned as Bengal U-23 coach.