Even as Arun Lal on Monday stepped down as Bengal head coach, players of the senior team were taken aback by the move. They didn't see it coming, and neither did Lal hint at any possible resignation during the recently-concluded Ranji season, Sportskeeda has reliably learnt.
Putting a lid on potential controversies, the 66-year-old cited age and fatigue as the primary reasons behind bidding adieu to the hectic job. Such a scenario merits deliberations, even prior intimation to a team which he has shaped.
But Lal didn't even mention anything. The players also didn’t sense if something was bubbling under the surface.
While it could be an impromptu decision, the former India batter even gave a pep talk for the upcoming season after the semi-final loss to Madhya Pradesh on June 18.
“After the game, we had a chat in the dressing room where he told us what all things we can do to get better next season. But he never mentioned anything about quitting the job,” sources told Sportskeeda.
Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Avishek Dalmiya is currently in the UK. Consequently, Lal, who took over from Sairaj Bahutule in 2019, handed his resignation letter to secretary Snehasish Ganguly. The state association is learnt to have accepted his departure.
It was under Arun Lal's tutelage that Bengal made the Ranji Trophy final in the 2019-20 season after a gap of 13 years. In the latest edition, the Abhimanyu Easwaran-led side strung together a winning run, only to come unstuck against eventual champions Madhya Pradesh in the top-four stage.
Another possible reason for the development could be Lal and his protégés not always being on the same page. Sportskeeda understands that there used to be differences between the players and the head coach. But then, such disagreements are commonplace in any cohort.
Bengal suffer double whammy after Wriddhiman Saha transfer
Days after veteran wicketkeeper-batter Wriddhiman Saha completed his move to Tripura in a player-cum-mentor role, the team has been rendered without a head coach.
Bengal cricket is facing turbulent weather at the moment and Dalmiya and co. have got a tough job on their hands to put the house in order. The foremost priority should be to iron out internal issues, if any, and pursue clarity in every aspect.
If an office-bearer questioning Saha’s commitment wasn’t enough, picking him in the squad for the knockouts without any prior communication didn’t help the cause either.
Arun Lal was notably part of the Bengal team that won the 1989-90 Ranji Trophy. The more the delay in naming his successor, the more the delay will be before the team sits on the elusive throne once again.