The inaugural edition of the Bengal T20 Challenge is all set to bring back cricket to the Eden Gardens from November 24. Six teams (all clubs) will compete against each other in a bio-secure bubble, according to a Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) press release.
There will be a total of 33 matches played, including the semi-finals and final, with each of the six clubs – East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, Town, Kalighat, Tapan Memorial, Calcutta Customs – playing each other twice.
The schedule, which may include triple-headers on some days with the majority of the matches to be played under floodlights, is expected to be released on Saturday.
CAB president Avishek Dalmiya attributed the purpose of the tournament to blood young talent in West Bengal.
"The thought process behind this tournament is to nurture the talents of the state of West Bengal and also enable this competition to act as a talent feeder to the various age groups representing the association," Dalmiya was quoted as saying on CAB’s Facebook page.
Bengal coach also Arun Lal also echoed the same thoughts, saying that the Bengal T20 Challenge will enable prodigies in the state come through the ranks.
"If one can perform here, he can open the gates to greater opportunities. I have been telling the marquee players that this is a godsent opportunity; this has never happened to any of the Bengal players before,” Lal explained.
While all six clubs had retained a total of 42 players, they signed 8 more players at a draft conducted at a Kolkata hotel on Tuesday. Each side now has 15 players in their ranks, with the captains being Abhimanyu Easwaran, Manoj Tiwary, Shahbaz Ahmed, MD. Kaif, Subham Sarkar and Shreyan Chakraborty.
Complete squad lists for the Bengal T20 Challenge
East Bengal Club: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shreevats Goswami, Arnab Nandi, Boddupalli Amit, Abhishek Raman, Dipanjan Mukherjee, Mukesh Kumar, Sayan Shekhar Mandal, Kanishk Seth, Akash Pandey, Arindam Ghosh, Anubhav Ahuja, Raju Harlder, Sujit Kumar Yadav, Durgesh Kumar Dubey
Mohun Bagan Club: Manoj Tiwary, Debabrata Das, Anustup Majumdar, Vivek Singh, Akash Deep, Sayan Ghosh, Rajkumar Pal, Writtick Chatterjee, Ankur Paul, Shivam Sharma, Saurabh Singh, Prince Yadav, Anuraj Tiwari, Sandipan Das (Jr), Suraj Sindhu Jaiswal
Town Club: MD. Kaif, Aritra Chatterjee, Sudip Gharami, Mirza Danish Alam, Ayan Bhattacharjee, Golam Mustafa, Kazi Junnaid Saifi, Arikta Das, Azaz Ansari, Gitimoy Basu, Avijit Singh, Purab Joshi, Ananta Saha, Pankaj Shaw, Naved Ahmed
Kalighat Club: Subham Sarkar, Subham Chatterjee, Jayojit Basu, Sudip Chatterjee, Pradipta Pramanik, Mithilesh Das, Aamir Gani, Amit Kulia, Pritam Chakraborty, Amit Banerjee, Satyaki Dutta, Abhishek Bose, Sourav Mondal, Shubhrajit Das, Prinan Dutta
Tapan Memorial Club: Shahbaz Ahmad, Koushik Ghosh, Sandipan Das, Prayas Ray Barman, Nilkantha Das, Sumit Mohanta, Abhishek Porel, Gaurav Chauhan, Kaif Ahmad, Debopratim Halder, Roshan Singh, Ramesh Prashad, Sourav Chanda, Shakir Habib Gandhi, Tarun Godara
Calcutta Customs Club: Shreyan Chakraborty, Abhishek Das, Chirag Pathak, Sumanta Gupta, Karan Lal, Agniv Pan, Ravi Kant Singh, Dip Chatterjee, Bapi Manna, Suvankar Bal, Prosenjit Kr Das, Arun Kumar, Kunal Kumar, Arka Sarkar, Abhi Las Semwal