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Top 5 cricketers to have come from West Bengal

West Bengal might be known for its love of football but there have been a few great cricketers to have come out from the state.

Bengal’s Eden Gardens is India’s largest cricket stadium

Meerut in Uttar Pradesh is commonly known as the sports capital of India because the city is one of the primary manufacturing regions for sports goods in the country.

But if there was an award for the most sports-crazy Indian city, Kolkata in West Bengal would win it hands down. Home to India’s largest and the world’s second largest cricket and football stadiums, the city’s love for sports can be seen in its sporting arenas, felt in its outburst of passion, and heard in its evening ‘adda over some chaai, samosas and Dada (Sourav Ganguly).

Be it football or cricket, the city religiously follows both the games. And thus it is no surprise that it has produced some great sportsmen. Here’s a look at the top 5 cricketers from West Bengal.

#1 Pankaj Roy

Fred Trueman bowls his final set for England in the Third Test against India at Old Trafford. The batsman is Pankaj Roy

Pankaj Roy, born May 31, 1928, was a legendary India and Bengal opening batsman. Best remembered for his record opening partnership of 413 runs alongside Vinoo Mankad, the Calcutta-born batsman played 43 Tests for India.

It took 52 years for their world class record to be broken when in 2008 South African pair Neil McKenzie and Graeme Smith knit together 415 runs for the opening partnership against Bangladesh. His career of several ups and downs began with a bang when he scored a century on his debut in 1946-47.

Roy was one of the best Indian openers in the era before Sunil Gavaskar. The batsman had the most runs among the Indian openers (2,220 runs at 31.71 with 4 hundreds from 41 Tests) and still ranks fifth among all-time Indian openers in terms of runs.

Pankaj Roy was part of the selection committee which picked the squad for the 1983 World Cup. Roy was also the Sheriff of Kolkata at the time of his demise in February 2001.

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