Ahead of the Ranji Trophy encounter against Tamil Nadu, Indian internationals and Bengal teammates Pragyan Ojha and Ashok Dinda were both involved in a heated exchange, which almost resulted in the pair exchanging blows during the training session at Rajkot.
According to sources, the incident took place when the players were involved in a football match as they were warming up for their Group A clash against Tamil Nadu. This is not the first time that Dinda, the leader of Bengal’s bowling attack, has got into an altercation with his teammates.
In 2008 during the clash against Madhya Pradesh at Gwalior, Dinda had a clash with SS Paul with the latter threatening to walk out of the team hotel. A year later, Dinda and Ranadeb Bose almost exchanged blows with then captain Laxmi Ratan Shukla during the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Agartala, with Manoj Tiwary having to intervene.
On this occasion, Dinda had tackled some of the opposing players and that didn’t go down too well as it broke the unwritten code of “no tackles” during football sessions.
Speaking about the incident, a senior CAB official said: "The provocation did not come from Ojha who is a very cool fellow. It was Dinda who took a powerful shot that whizzed past Ojha's ears. He could have got hurt and he was annoyed as he shouted at Dinda. He then charged at Ojha wanting to settle scores and Ojha just pushed him. He fell to the ground but by then the other members had come between them,”
However, according to sources, the altercation didn’t stop there as Pragyan Ojha’s transfer from Hyderabad to Bengal, earned him the title of “outsider” from Dinda, who wasn’t pleased about what had transpired.
As Bengal’s leader of the pace attack and lead spinner, the altercation between Dinda and Ojha would have been the last thing Bengal would have wanted and both players have been spoken to by the team management, including captai Manoj Tiwary, coach Sairaj Bahutule and manager Sameer Dasgupta and warned that this type of behavior isn’t welcome at the side.
The matter has also been reported the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Sourav Ganguly, who wanted both players to calm down and put this behind and concentrate on the upcoming clash.
Despite being unbeaten so far this season and having won their last two matches, Bengal would have hoped for better preparation ahead of their clash with Tamil Nadu, who are second in the table, two points ahead of fifth-placed Bengal, having played two games more.