Suvankar Bal just announced himself for the 2022-23 season with an unbeaten 237 against Police Athletic Club in the ongoing CAB 1st Divison Group A League tournament. Bal has already featured in 4 List A matches and 3 T20 matches for Bengal, but was left behind after last season. With a great start to the season, the keeper-batter now wants to keep scoring and have an impactful season for his new club, Town Club.
Last season Suvankar was with the East Bengal club which won two trophies in the 2021-22 season. However, with a hope to bat up the order and find himself in a new challenge, he signed for Town for the ongoing season. "I just wanted a new challenge. The time with East Bengal was fantastic. But, yes, I knew I will bat up the order here. So, that was one of the reasons to change the team," Suvankar Bal told Sportz Point in an exclusive interview.
The squashbuckling batter scored his 237 in just 261 balls as Town made 657/8 in the first inning. Suvankar hit 33 fours in that inning to stamp authority on the opponent's bowling. Supardip Debnath also scored a brilliant hundred at the top of the order to make it easier for Bal. "Debnath's inning helped me a lot. When he was going good, I bought my time out initially to set myself up for the big one," Suvankar added.
With nearly four keepers in the team, Bal had already told the team management that he wanted to don the gloves for the team. However, he feels with lot of upcoming games in three formats, having that many keepers will help the team having fresh legs behind the stumps. "I wanted to keep. Yes, we have four keepers in the squad. But, I already had told the team management that I want to keep. Although, having four keepers will help us in the long-run for sure."
Wicket keeping is a tough job when you bat up the order for your team, specially in the longer format of the game. But, Suvankar made himself ready for these kind of situations so that he can stay on the ground for longer period. "My fitness regime makes me fit and ready for doing both the jobs. I enjoy that. Contributing for the team anyway possible is the main motto. That is why, I try to be discipline and work hard on my game in the off-season," Bal expressed.
Even after trophies with East Bengal last season, Bal was excluded from the white-ball format of Bengal. However, he is hopeful that scoring big runs for the team can make an impact on the selection. But, he does not want to focus on that as it is the "job of the selectors" to choose who will be representing the state team.
"Yes, I am hoping that it will make an impact. But, to be honest this is the job of the selectors. So, I just want to make sure that I am scoring runs with the bat so that I am always on their list."
This was Suvankar's sixth double-ton in club cricket. But, with the hunger to get back in the Bengal team, Suvankar Bal is ready to break the door with as many runs he can get.
Town started the season with an outright win against Police Athletic Club. The bundled out their opponent for 111 and 158 in the first and second inning respectively. Left-arm pacer Geet Puri took 8 wickets in the match with a hostile five-for in the first inning.