Kalighat Club, the defending champions of the Kolkata Club Cricket League, set their eyes on title defence as they sign some of the biggest names of Bengal cricket. Experienced batter Anustup Majumdar rejoined them from Mohun Bagan after 14 years along with Abhishek Raman and Koushik Ghosh from Bhawanipore Club. Shreevats Goswami and Debabrata Das will be the other experienced players to be in the squad for the upcoming season.
Kalighat fought their way back from Group B to League Champions in just two seasons
A few seasons back, Kalighat hit their lowest when they were relegated from Group A to Group B in Kolkata Club Cricket’s first division set-up. Since then, they have defeated all the odds and at first, made a strong comeback in Group A and then went on to win the title the next season after missing out in the final, the season before that. It has been a great journey for them since that turmoil but Kalighat’s mentor cum player Hirak Sengupta believes defending the title will be tougher.
“It has been a great journey. From getting the promotion to Group A and playing a few finals to winning the league last year, our team has excelled in every department. Defending the title will be more difficult. But, we have the squad to pull things off for us,” Hirak told Sportz Point in an exclusive interview.
Kalighat had to make a few changes to last season’s successful squad as star batter Sudip Gharami left for Mohun Bagan and pace bowler Amit Kuila left for East Bengal. However, the core of that team is still there for them. Their last season’s top scorers Subham Chatterjee and Shreyansh Ghosh, along with bowlers like Pritam Chakrabarty, and Kaushik Maity will be their key players for the next season of Kolkata Club cricket.
“We had to leave Sudip (Gharami). We wish him the best. But now, we have Anustup Majumdar, Abhishek Raman and Koushik Ghosh. You know how good they are. Look, everyone is good. People have been saying we were a good team because we played well. Now, if we do not do well this time, people will say, this is not a good team. We have a great squad. We will just have to perform,” Hirak expressed.
Raman, Shubham, Shreevats and Anustup make a solid batting lineup for Kalighat for the upcoming Kolkata Club Cricket season
To fill up Sudip Gharami’s place, there will be two southpaw batters Koushik Ghosh and Abhishek Raman. Both of them are undoubtedly one of the best top-order batters in Bengal cricket; tried and tested. Both Raman and Ghosh have first-class experience under their belt. Moreover, they were in great form for Bhawanipore Club last season as well. Obviously, Shreevats Goswami will be another top-order batter for them who needs no introduction.
Talking about players who need no introduction, Anustup Majumdar will be a key hold for them when the times are tougher in a long season like Kolkata Club cricket has. Anustup’s experience of 81 first-class matches will be priceless for Kalighat as they look to keep that title at their club. He will be joining Kalighat after a long gap of 14 years.
“The club have a great atmosphere. I am very excited to be joining Kalighat after 14 long years. I hope I will be able to contribute to club’s success,” Anustup told Sportz Point.
“Obviously, it will be great to be back playing with them. But, playing well as a team will be more important. We have some young players who are doing well. The bowling looks great too. So, it will be about doing well together as a team,” the crisis man of Bengal answered on playing again with Shreevats Goswami and Debabrata Das.
Read Also: Most Runs in Ranji Trophy 2022-23
Pritam, Ravikant, and Ananta make the pace battery; but all eyes will be on Irfan
In the bowling lineup, Pritam Chakraborty will be there for them for his seventh season at the club. Ananta Saha, Ravikant Singh and B. Amit will be his partners in crime with the ball in hand. But, Syed Irfan Aftab, the U-19 sensation will be their dark horse this season. Many believe Irfan can be a future prospect for Bengal cricket and has immense talent to prove them right. In that case, mentor Hirak told Sportz Point that, they would back the youngster in every possible way to bring the best out of him. Aman Singh is their other pacer in the squad.
“Kalighat have always helped young players and backed them. Last season, Debabrata Das sacrificed his place for a young guy like Mohit Roy. Even Aritra Chatterjee opeted to rest so that young Kaushik Maity can have more matches under his belt”Hirak Sengupta
In the spin department, Aritra Chatterjee will be their main man along with last season’s Bengal U-23 captain Kaushik Maity, who bowls with both hands. Vikash Singh will be their other left-arm spinner for the defending champions.
Kalighat Cricket Club | Full squad for upcoming Kolkata Club Cricket season
Anustup Majumdar, Shreevats Goswami, Debabrata Das, Pritam Chakraborty, Subham Chatterjee, Aritra Chatterjee, Ravikant Singh, B. Amit, Shreyansh Ghosh, Writam Porel, Kaushik Maity, Aman Singh Shekhawat, Vikash Singh, Abhishek Raman, Ananta Saha, Subham Sur, Sayed Irfan Aftab, Raelee Taylor, Bidyut Adhikary, Koushik Ghosh, Hirak Sengupta, Saminur Rahaman, Mijanur Rahaman.